Wonkhe’s Covid-19 data dashboards

Tracking Covid-19 cases in England and Wales against patterns of student residence.

David Kernohan is an Associate Editor of Wonkhe


Public Health England (PHE) is now releasing a rolling 7 day case total for every Medium Super Output Area (MSOA) in the country.

Here it is plotted against the term time residence data for 2018-19, which is the latest available extract of HESA data from the Jisc Tailored Data Service.

MSOA daily dashboard (England)

This visualization was last updated on 9 April 2021.

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As you’ll recall from my previous article, you can select an upper or lower tier local authority area of interest using the drop down on the bottom right (or choose “all” if you want to see all of England). The graph on the left shows students in residence (2018-19 year, so probably fairly similar to 2020-21), and the number of Covid-19 cases known to PHE in the last seven days of available data, for each MSOA.

Unlike LSOAs, MSOAs have attractive names thanks to a crowd-sourcing competition run by the House of Commons Library. If you click on an area of interest on the graph, you see it in enlarged on the map on the right – otherwise you just see all the MSOAs in that area, shaded to show Covid-19 cases. Area names and streets are visible on the map, and I’ve also marked campuses where HE is delivered – showing the campus name, provider name, mission group, and the number of courses on offer when this this years cohort of students was applying.

On 16 November the data was refined by reassigning cases to the address given while testing (as opposed to the NHS registration address, which previously meant some student cases were counted at their home domicile). You can read more about what this meant here.

I’ve added a visualisation tracking the change in case numbers throughout the course of the pandemic. The red shaded (MSOA) areas are those where more than 1,000 students live during termtime.

I’ll keep this as up-to-date as I can, PHE data releases allowing. If you are interested in the stories behind the data, or term time residence data for Scotland, do have a look at the other article.

MSOA daily dashboard (Wales)

Last updated 9 April 2021, based on the most recent available data for the last 7 days of cases.

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This visualisation is based on data from Public Health Wales (PHW), available via its own tableau visualisation. As with the dashboard for England I have added the HESA/Jisc student residence data for 2018-19 and locations for campuses where higher education is available.


(Historic) LSOA weekly dashboard

This is the same graph as previously. It shows much smaller areas, but the data is a week old – and updates every week.

I last updated this on 8 October 2020, for Week 40. As of the following week we are told that the government is “no longer publishing data at LSOA level on advice from the Statistical Disclosure Control unit at the Office for National Statistics.

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Keen readers will spot a new feature – I’ve included data on the estimated overall population of each LSOA in the tool tip, and the population density (number of people in residence per square kilometre) is shown as the size of the dots in the graph on the left. This means that we can do an estimated proportion of residents in each area who are students, and that’s also on the tooltip.

You can look at term time residence data on the the default tab, and you also have the option of looking at (not especially accurate, but interesting) data on student home domiciles on the other one. The functionality is exactly the same as the daily graph. Visualisation nerds will be delighted to learn that I have applied a jitter to make the graph on the left slightly more pleasing to the eye, but the values shown on the tooltip are accurate.

One response to “Wonkhe’s Covid-19 data dashboards

  1. Interesting numbers, we’re shown as having 5 cases, I know end of previous week we had 9, and now we have 47 confirmed in Hall’s, GOK’s how many in HMO’s. Staff who live locally report house parties, and total ignorance from s-TOO-DENSE whilst shopping in local supermarkets, not just ignoring social distancing but barging and reaching round older shoppers to get stuff off shelves. Local COMMUNITY spread is now inevitable, and Universities will be squarely and rightly in the frame for being the source.

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