The number of Teessiders who contacted the NHS with symptoms of coronavirus

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Teesside residents have contacted the NHS more than 20,000 times in the past two weeks with potential symptoms of covid-19.

However, older adults who are at higher risk of contracting the virus are less likely to contact the NHS about symptoms.

NHS Digital figures show that locals have spoken to call managers or filled out online symptom checkers 20,534 times between March 18 and April 1.

The figures do not show how many people in an area have the virus, but only the number of times who think they may have sought advice from the NHS.

Individuals may also have completed the online symptom checker several times over several days.

Teesside reported 216 confirmed cases on Thursday and 37 deaths were reported.



Two new emergency hospitals will be built

People seem to follow advice for checking symptoms online – 17,527 contacts were people who completed the assessment online.

In addition to this, there were 2,623 calls related to Covid-19 at 111, and 384 of those calls at 999.

The number of people checking for symptoms appears to be decreasing.

The busiest day for ongoing online appeals and assessments was March 23, with 2,845 contacts.

This compares to 1,186 contacts on April 1.

Overall, the number of contacts concerning symptoms of covid-19 in Teesside is equivalent to 36 per 1,000 inhabitants of the region.

Women (42 contacts per 1,000 people) were more likely than men (30 per 1,000) to check their symptoms.

The adult population aged 19 to 69 was more likely to check than other age groups, with 47 contacts per 1,000 people, with only 10 contacts per 1,000 people aged 70 and over, and 22 per 1,000 for those 18 years and under.

Across England, people used the NHS to check for potential symptoms of covid-19 1.8 million times between March 18 and April 1.

The vast majority of them were people using the online symptom checker (1.6 million), with 239,012 calls handled by NHS 111 and 20,057,999 calls.

The actual number is likely to be higher for 999 calls because not all ambulance services use the NHS Pathway system to deal with it, so the numbers in these areas will be under-recorded.

The number of checks per day almost halved, from a peak of 165,330 on March 23 to 84,629 on April 1.

This could mean that fewer people are now experiencing symptoms than they suspect to be covid-19, or that fewer people are signing in to use the online assessment.

People aged 70 and over, a higher risk group of covid-19, were the least likely to contact the NHS to check on their symptoms, with eight contacts per 1,000 people in the group, compared to 43 per 1,000 for those adults aged 19 to 69.

However, this may also be due to the fact that older people are less likely to use the online symptom checker – 60% of contacts made by people aged 70 and over were made this way, compared to 89 % for people aged 19 to 69.

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