Covid deaths are rising sharply in the UK, but an increasing proportion of these are actually due to something else, BBC analysis suggests.
Deaths will inevitably increase too, but not all will be "true" Covid ones. Others will be people who happened to test positive.
There are a number of ways we monitor the number of deaths connected to Covid. The most prominent is the daily count of anyone who has died within 28 days of testing positive.
But there has always been a minority who died from another cause. And with Omicron infecting so many people, there is a higher likelihood of people dying from an unrelated reason in the month after testing positive than there has been in the past.
If Covid contributed in some way, that's a death "involving Covid". The number of these deaths has tracked the daily death count closely throughout most of the pandemic.
During autumn and the run-up to Christmas, only about 15% of deaths involving Covid in England and Wales did not list Covid as the cause.