An average of 148,000 people in England had COVID-19 at any given time between 27 April and 10 May, according to an estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
That accounts for 0.27% of the country’s population, or about one in every 400 people.
The figures are thought to be the clearest picture yet of how many people in England had been infected with the coronavirus.
The data is for the population outside of hospitals, care homes and other institutional settings, and was taken from 10,705 people.
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Among people working with patients in healthcare of care home residents, 1.33% tested positive, while 0.22% of those not working in these roles were found to have the virus.
There was no evidence there was any difference in the proportions of people testing positive among different age groups, the ONS said.
Early results, based on a sample from 7,087 people, suggested 0.24% of the population in England were positive – about 136,000 people.
The ONS has also carried out a wider study based on up to 300,000 people, which includes antibody testing to help give a picture of how many people had COVID-19 in the past.
In separate figures also released on Thursday, the Department of Health said its has recorded the deaths of 33,614 people in hospitals, care homes and the community across the UK after they tested positive for coronavirus.
There have also been 233,151 UK-wide confirmed cases since the outbreak started, the department said.
A spokesman for the ONS said ahead of the publication of the figures: “Further analysis, including regional breakdowns, is being planned to give more insight into the spread of the virus in this country in the coming weeks.”