Leicester makes history in testing times

weather vane

Leicester made demographic history as the first city in England where the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community is the majority. And it is making history as the first city in England to re-enter lockdown after a surge in persons testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Can Leicester turn this reversal into a triumph for local public health by rigorously documenting its SARS-CoV-2 transmission networks, and by using investigatory scientific methods to make new discoveries about asymptomatic infections and infectiousness? These are testing times.

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Undercounting mortality in the Covid-19 pandemic

theatre sign Covid-19

This comment concerns the most common reasons mortality has been undercounted during the novel coronavirus pandemic, to raise awareness in the general public and help researchers to analyze mortality data with caution. Different countries’ different reporting systems may have different problems; no data are flawless. This comment offers six general issues that apply to most countries, before proceeding to focus on the peculiarities of Covid-19.

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Applying "zones of influence" to social distancing in schools

Social distancing road sign

Social distancing is important in controlling the spread of Covid-19. This strategy has proven to be highly effective in flattening the curve of new cases/deaths. In this article I discuss the spatial implications of England's social distancing policy in relation to the school setting and, in particular, how this might apply to seating configurations in schools as the Covid-19 lockdown, implemented from 23 March 2020, is gradually eased.

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Visualizing the Covid-19 pandemic with doubling rates

covid by Bosny

As the popularity of coronavirus data visualizations increases, so does the risk of misinterpreting results. We’ve all heard the term flattening the curve. This catch phrase does a good job of summarizing the goal of pandemic mitigation policies: limit the number of people who are simultaneously infected to avoid straining health care systems. However common the phrase may be, it raises the question: What curve are we trying to flatten? And what do these curves tell us about how well we’re doing?

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A long tradition: Discussion meetings at the Royal Statistical Society

RSS discussion meeting

Discussion meetings are the most prestigious of the many types of meetings organised by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) where researchers can present their work. They have built up a long tradition, and many of the most important ideas in statistics were first presented and discussed at these meetings. Paul A. Smith, the current discussion papers editor, explains.

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