Daily coronavirus cases in England have increased by about 10,000 to around 27,900, according to latest ONS estimates.
Last week’s estimate was 17,200 new infections per day, and the week before 12,600.
There was also a big jump in the total number of people believed to be infected in England – rising from an estimated 224,400 to 336,500 in a week.
That equates to around 1 in 160 people, from 1 in 240.
The figures – covering 2 to 8 October – are for private households and do not include people in hospitals and care homes.
“The estimate shows the number of infections has continued to increase rapidly in recent weeks,” said the Office for National Statistics.
It said there was also “clear evidence” of regional variation.
Places under stricter lockdowns – such as the North West, North East and Yorkshire – recorded significantly higher infection rates than regions such as southern and eastern England.
But trends show “growth in positivity in every region of England”, added the ONS
Older teenagers and young adults were getting infected the most.
“Smaller increases are also apparent across all of the other age groups, apart from individuals aged 70 years and over,” said the research.
The ONS Infection Survey carries out its own tests of tens of thousands of people each week – whether or not they have coronavirus symptoms.
In Wales, there could be encouraging signs.
Researchers said there was “some evidence that positivity rates may now have levelled off, although uncertainty is high”.
Some 7,900 people were estimated to have the virus there during the week in question – or 1 in 390 people.
That compares with 6,100 and 1 in 500 the week before.
Northern Ireland’s estimate doubled however, rising to around 1 in 250 people infected from 1 in 500.
Its figures cover a longer period, from 25 September to 8 October.
Scotland is not covered in the survey.
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