COVID cases on the rise throughout Oxfordshire

People throughout Oxfordshire are being asked to be aware of the ever-present risk of COVID-19 as cases continue to rise across the county.

While case numbers in young people in Oxford City have fallen back since the peaks in early July, which put the city among the top ten in the county, cases in the over 30s and rates across the rest of the county are rising rapidly. The current weekly rate for Oxfordshire stands at 369.5 per 100,000 population, which is a 31 per cent increase on last week.

Oxford remains a government enhanced response area. Anyone living, working or visiting the city can get a free PCR test at one of five walk-in locations across the city. These will be available until at least 4 August. 

Additional bookable testing slots are being made available in the rest of the county. If you have any symptoms and live outside Oxford City, book a PCR test using the national booking system.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “Understandably the local headlines have focused on Oxford, where rises were particularly steep earlier in the summer. However, we have been keeping a wary eye on the whole of the county having seen how Oxford’s cases jumped so quickly in a short space of time in late June and early July. The county has been catching the city up – and we advise people in all of our market towns and villages to adjust their judgements on COVID risks accordingly.

“We know that the lesson of the pandemic so far is that COVID is a formidable opponent. If we put ourselves in vulnerable positions, the virus will exploit this. The fewer people we are in close contact with as we go about our daily lives, the less chance we have of contracting COVID.

“The number of cases nationally is having less of an impact in terms of hospitalisations and deaths during this wave, but we still need to be aware of the impact on the NHS as cases continue to rise.

“Clearly the national rules have changed, but we would encourage people to have high levels of awareness of the dangers of COVID. We urge everyone to play it safe and continue to do the things that give us higher levels of protection from the virus. Wear a face covering in enclosed or crowded spaces, such as on public transport or in shops. Wash your hands regularly, socialise outdoors if you can, maintain space between yourself and others, and ventilate rooms while you are indoors.

“We know that ever-increasing numbers of people have been double or single vaccinated and, as each day goes by, our protection as a society becomes more solid as a result of this. We continue to encourage people to come forward for their first and second jabs if they are due and eligible.

“We also encourage people to get tested regularly - especially if you are showing symptoms. Testing gives you the personal assurance that you are not carrying the virus and won’t pass it on to others. This then helps stop the spread across the county as a whole.”

Current case rates in Oxfordshire

  • Cherwell on May 28 was 8.6 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 318.9 per 100,000
  • Oxford on May 28 was 26.2 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 379.8 per 100,000
  • South Oxfordshire on May 28 was 28.9 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 363.2 per 100,000
  • Vale of White Horse on May 28 was 27.2 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 378.7 per 100,000
  • West Oxfordshire on May 28 was 13.6 per 100,000 and on July 16 was 421.2 per 100,000

Testing options for people in Oxford

Oxford remains a national enhanced response area after large rises in cases in early July. Testing options for people in the city are listed below.

The mobile testing units are open for business 10am - 8pm (no appointment is needed):

The venues are:

  • South Park (St Clement’s end)
  • The Blavatnik School of Government, Walton Street (on the right hand side of the front of the building)
  • Manzil Way Gardens, Cowley Road.
  • Headington carpark, Old High Street (behind Waitrose)
  • Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre carpark, Pegasus Road (behind the leisure centre adjacent to the football pitch)

The testing centres at Oxford Brookes University and Osney Lane are also open every day 8am - 8pm, including for those without symptoms, but people need to book an appointment on gov.uk

Arrangements outside Oxford City

With rates continuing to go up across the rest of the county, people are asked to continue with twice-weekly rapid lateral flow testing and, if they have any symptoms, book a PCR test.

There are five PCR testing centres open seven days a week:

  • Oxford Parkway, near Kidlington (OX2 8HA) – drive-through
  • Woodgreen Leisure Centre, Banbury (OX16 0HS)
  • Osney Lane, Oxford (OX1 1NY)
  • Oxford Brookes University (OX3 0BP)
  • Woodford Way Carpark, Witney (OX28 6JS)

Additional mobile testing units are being deployed in various locations across the county.

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