Banbury sports centre is confirmed as a Covid-19 testing centre from next month

Woodgreen Leisure Centre is to become a walk-through coronavirus testing centre from next month, Cherwell District Council officials have confirmed.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 4:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 4:59 pm
Woodgreen Leisure Centre, part of which is to be requisitioned to become a walk through coronavirus testing centre

The testing centre will be a walk through facility (as opposed to a drive-through) but individuals cannot just turn up. They will have to book a test through the gov.uk website Covid-19 pages.

Along with other councils the length and breadth of the country, the council had been asked by government to identify suitable premises for testing and proposed the leisure centre to the Department of Health and Social Care.

A spokesman said today (Tuesday): "On Thursday we were notified that our proposal to use part of Woodgreen Leisure Centre as a local testing site was approved. We currently expect the testing site to go live during the middle of November although this is subject to a site visit.”

The spokesman said it would be a walk-through facility that would be part of the national testing system so people would need to book online via gov.uk. The authority will look to minimise any impact on the leisure centre facilities. However he Banbury Guardian has been told the Indoor Bowls club will not be able to make use of its facility in the hall for the rest of this year.

In our previous report on the search for a testing centre, the council said: “As we have done with the pop-up testing unit at our Bodicote House offices, we will always work with government and local public health teams to support testing facilities for our residents.

As well as the indoor bowling hall, the centre has a 50-station gym and two fitness studios as well as the outdoor pool which is now closed for the winter.

A number of people have complained about having to travel to Oxford car parks, Northampton or Coventry for coronavirus tests. Adapting Woodgreen as an indoor testing centre will make tests much easier for the local population and the proposal received a lot of support on social media when the story broke earlier in the month.

The most recent figures from Oxfordshire County Council show Cherwell had 116 positive Covid cases as at October 20. New figures are due out tomorrow (Wednesday).