Banbury leisure centre to become an indoor Covid testing centre as case numbers rise

Banbury's Woodgreen Leisure Centre is to be adapted to become an indoor Covid-19 testing centre, the Banbury Guardian has been told.

Woodgreen Leisure Centre, Woodgreen Avenue, Banbury
Woodgreen Leisure Centre, Woodgreen Avenue, Banbury

The newsroom has heard that the Indoor Bowls club that uses part of the building has been told it will not be able to make use of its facility for the rest of this year. This has not yet been confirmed.

Cherwell District Council has been asked to confirm the information but we do not expect a response until tomorrow (Wednesday).

The leisure centre has an indoor bowling hall, a 50 station gym and two fitness studios as well as the outdoor pool which has closed for the winter.

A number of people have complained about having to travel to Oxford car parks for coronavirus tests. Adapting Woodgreen as an indoor testing centre would make tests much easier for the local population.

The news comes as Covid-19 cases in Banbury and Oxfordshire rise and schools in the area respond to cases among pupils by closing classes. The Banbury Guardian has reported on closures, or partial closures, at Wroxton Primary School, Frank Wise (partial), Dashwood, where a class was sent home for a fortnight, and St Mary's Primary which has closed the school for two weeks because of Covid cases.

In the seven days to October 14 there were 614 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Cherwell had 138 and is on red alert, as is the entire county. The Cherwell rate is 91.7 cases per 100,000 of the population. It has the highest rate of all four district councils in Oxfordshire Oxford city has the highest number at 236.

New figures are due out tomorrow (Wednesday).