There were up to 418 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Oxford last week once university figures are included, according to the county council.

The authority has been publishing a weekly update on how many cases have been recorded in each district, based on national Public Health England (PHE) data.

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In the seven days up to October 30 (Friday), it said there had been a total of 814 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Oxfordshire.

This is equivalent to a weekly rate of new cases of 117.7 per 100,000 residents.

Of these 206 positive tests were in Oxford, with a rate of 135.1.

Oxford Mail:

But there have been problems for weeks with Oxford University's own testing figures not seeming to be included in local figures.

The University's own figures for the seven days to October 30 was 212- once again higher than the entire national total for Oxford.

Finally the reason seems to have been found.

A note with the table above, said: "From work with PHE and University of Oxford we are aware this is underreporting due to University of Oxford cases tested through their Covid-19: Early Alerting Service not being attributed to a specific geography on the national surveillance system.

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"Public Health England and the University identified this issue and are working to ensure university data is provided in a way that can automatically be included in the national surveillance system."

The county council added: "The issue affects the national reporting system only and does not impact on the management of these cases or their contacts.

"The Oxford University data has always been shared with Public Health England and other partners to help inform local decision making.

"All University staff and students who have tested positive have been notified and told to self-isolate."

A council spokesperson told the Oxford Mail the authority expects the situation with reporting going forward to be resolved 'in the next week or two'.

The council went on to provide another table with an 'approximation of the position including the additional university figures'.

It puts the county's overall cases at more than 1,000. 

Oxford Mail:

The table is based on including all the Oxford University positive tests to the city, though some staff who tested positive may live in surrounding districts such as South Oxfordshire. 

It takes Oxford's weekly total to October 30 up to 418, with an infection rate of 274.2.

The county notes, however, the overall total for Oxfordshire has not gone up greatly compared with the week before once adding university Covid cases is backdated. 

There were 1,026 up to October 30, compared with 1,021 in the seven days to October 23.

A PHE spokesperson said: “Public Health England has identified a number of coronavirus cases from the University of Oxford’s independent testing system were not included in local or regional totals.

"We are working with the university to ensure details of all cases from their independent testing system are included in our local surveillance systems. Contact tracing of student cases has been undertaken by the university or NHS Test & Trace.

“Analysis is ongoing but initial results have been shared with local partners, including Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Director of Public Health, to enable them to assess the best course of action to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 and safeguard the local community.”

The problem is understood to date back to September 13, with the university's own testing starting on August 20.

An Oxford University statement echoed the one from PHE but added: “All University staff and students who have tested positive have been notified and told to self-isolate at the time of their test result.”