Interpretation of COVID-19 data presented on this website

  • The 14-day notification rate of new COVID-19 cases, along with the 14-day death rate are the main indicators displayed. These rates are calculated based on data collected by the ECDC Epidemic Intelligence from various sources and are affected by the local testing strategy, laboratory capacity and the effectiveness of surveillance systems. Comparing the epidemiological situation regarding COVID-19 between countries should therefore not be based on these rates alone. At individual country level, this indicator may however be useful for monitoring the national situation over time.
  • Testing policies and the number of tests performed per 100 000 persons, vary markedly across the EU/EEA and presumably even more so among third countries. More extensive testing will inevitably lead to more cases being detected.
  • The 14-day notification rate of new COVID-19 cases should be used in combination with other factors including testing policies, number of tests performed, test positivity, excess mortality and rates of hospital and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admissions, when analysing the epidemiological situation in a country. Most of these indicators are presented for EU/EEA Member States and the UK in the Country Overview report.
  • Even when using several indicators in combination, comparisons between countries should be done with caution and relevant epidemiological expertise.