**Page updated 11-09-2020**
The RSS has a task force to marshal and promote, at a high level, the Society's expertise relevant to the Covid-19 crisis. Founded by RSS president elect, Professor Sylvia Richardson CBE, she co-chairs the initiative with RSS past president Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter OBE, and is supported by a steering group.
More information on the Task Force, and information on how to get involved, is now on our dedicated page.
The initiative was first proposed at the RSS Council meeting in March 2020 and followed our statement regarding the Covid-19 pandemic in which RSS's President, Professor Deborah Ashby, acknowledged that 'the statistical community has a key role to play'.
A key aim of the task force is to ensure that the RSS can contribute its collective expertise to UK national and devolved governments and public bodies, regarding statistical issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Official correspondence and statements
**Official correspondence and statements from the Covid-19 Task Force, or other Sections or Groups of the RSS **
- Statement on how efficient statistical method can glean intelligence from Test, Trace and Isolate with accompanying technical appendix, issued on 23 July 2020
- Covid-19 statistical issues for lower and middle income countries (PDF), a briefing note from the RSS International Development Section, published by RSS, 1 June
- Comment to the Science Media Centre on 14 May, regarding data from the ONS Covid-19 Infection Survey
- Comment to the Science Media Centre on 7 May, regarding ONS figures on Covid-19 deaths and ethnicity (PDF)
- Statement issued on 4 May 2020, on the reporting of results from home swab test kits (PDF)
- Statement issued on 14 April 2020 (PDF) responds to the criteria that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority expects to be met by an acceptable point-of-care antibody test for coronavirus.
- Letter issued on 13 April 2020, on possible criteria for antibody sensitivity and specificity assurance (PDF), from David Spiegelhalter to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority on behalf of the RSS Task Force.
- RSS alerts Ofqual to the statistical issues relating to exam grading and assessment in 2020 (PDF - published by RSS, 9 April)
**Recent activities of members of the Task Force and the RSS **
- Antibody tests may help detect COVID-19 infection - if used at right time (research led by Jon Deeks, 25 June)
- Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into the Science of COVID-19 (Sheila Bird and Jon Deeks give evidence on testing, 9 June)
- Success of test, trace and isolate programmes depends on speed, compliance and monitoring (DELVE Report advised and supported by Sylvia Richardson and Peter Diggle), published by the Royal Society, 27 May
- On the independent evaluation of Abbott and Roche SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests (PDF), published by RSS, 22 May, and quoted by Science Media Centre
- Collecting and reporting mortality statistics on Covid-19, 20 May - presentations, event report, and Q&A details (accessed via the Health Stats User Group webinar page)
- Covid-19—we must learn from Italy and protect older staff (by RSS member Irene Stratton in the British Medical Journal, 14 May)
- Oral evidence on statistics in the coronavirus pandemic (BBC Parliament, 7 May) transcript (UK House of Commons Science and Technology select committee, 12 May)
- Oral evidence on statistics in the coronavirus pandemic - UK House of Commons Science and Technology select committee (BBC Parliament, 7 May)
- The many definitions of a Covid-19 death toll (PDF - published by RSS, 4 May)
- COVID-19 testing strategy - why random sampling matters (published by Health Data Research UK, 14 April)
- A statistician's guide to coronavirus numbers (published by RSS, 20 April)