One in 12 children in England were infected with the coronavirus on any given day last week, official figures revealed today.
The Office for National Statistics calculated 786,300 people in England had the virus on October 2, up 19.4 per cent on the previous weekly figure.
Its figures showed the virus was most prevalent among children aged 11 to 16, with 6.9 per cent of them estimated to have been infected at any point in the last week – around one in 15 youngsters.
But data for the most recent day alone shows 8.1 per cent had Covid on Saturday – equating to one in 12 children in the age group.
Cases among children have soared since they returned to classrooms from the beginning of last month.
Some local authorities - including in parts of the South West, Cumbria and Northamptonshire - have since brought back face masks in an attempt to quell the latest surge.
But it is a mixed picture, as other figures suggest infections may have already peaked in youngsters.
MailOnline's analysis of official figures yesterday suggested Covid cases may have finally peaked in children. Department of Health figures show the number of primary and secondary-aged children testing positive fell in the five days leading up to October 2.
And data from the country's biggest symptom-tracking app also suggested today that cases in children have peaked.
But infection rates still remain extremely high – with around 1.5 per cent of youngsters aged 10 to 14 testing positive last week alone.
The graph shows the estimated daily percentage testing positive among different age groups from August 22 to October 2
The graph shows the estimated daily percentage testing positive in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland from August 7 to October 2
The ONS figures show around one in 70 people in England had Covid in the week to October 2, up from one in 85 the previous week.
At the peak of the second wave in early January, around one in 50 were estimated to have coronavirus.
In Wales, around one in 55 people is estimated to have had Covid, unchanged from the previous week, remaining the highest since the week to December 23.
In Northern Ireland, the latest estimate is one in 130, down from one in 65 the previous week.
For Scotland, the ONS estimates around one in 60 people had Covid in the week to October 2, down from one in 55 the previous week.
Across England, the percentage of people infected is estimated to have increased in all regions except the East, where the trend is uncertain, the ONS said.
Yorkshire and the Humber and East Midlands regions had the highest proportion of people of any region likely to test positive for coronavirus, at around one in 55.
London and eastern England had the lowest at around one in 90.
Meanwhile, Department of Health figures yesterday revealed infections are still highest among 10 to 14-year-olds.
There were 1,540 positive tests per every 100,000 people in that age group during the week ending September 27 after soaring at the start of the new term.
But this has fallen consistently since then, dropping to just 1,461 per 100,000 in the seven-day spell ending October 2 – the most recent day figures are available for.
A similar trend is visible among 15 to 19-year-olds, which saw cases peak in the same seven-day window (651 per 100,000). It now stands at 635 per 100,000.
And cases among five to nine-year-olds have been falling for nine days in a row after peaking at 569 per 100,000 on September 23. Some 487 per 100,000 in the cohort are now infected.
School children are