People in Oxford thanked for their response when COVID-19 cases spiked

People in Oxford are being thanked for the way they rallied to drive down COVID-19 cases over the summer when numbers rose suddenly to make the city one of the nation’s hotspots.

More than 11,000 people came forward to take PCR tests after mobile testing units were brought to the city when it was declared an enhanced response area by central government in early July.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “Alongside vaccinations we know that people’s behaviour is the key determinant in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Undoubtedly, the way people in Oxford stepped forward to get tested over the summer helped to drive down our very high case rates. I thank you all for this incredible effort

“Now that national restrictions have been lifted, people are enjoying more freedoms than they have had since early 2020. It has been great to hear and see that people are able to safely socialise and embrace a new normal. But at the same time we are not back to those pre-pandemic days and so caution is still required. The number of COVID cases being reported in the county remains quite high, with more than 1700 reported in the past week and we will remain reliant on people making sensible choices to keep the virus at bay in the coming weeks and months.

“We remain grateful for the small acts of care being taken on a daily basis such as wearing face coverings, washing hands, maintaining a distance between people, ventilating rooms and meeting outdoors where possible.

“Cases both locally and nationally remain highest in the 18 - 30 age group and I would once again urge those who have not booked their first jab to come forward. The vaccine is effective at reducing the risk of transmission and severe illness and − as we look towards autumn and people returning to work, school and university after the holidays − it represents our best chance of stopping the spread of the virus.”

How to get tested in Oxfordshire

While Oxford is no longer an Enhanced Response Area, there are still options to local people to get tested to ensure that they are not carrying the virus with the possibility of passing it on to others.

Meanwhile if you have COVID-19 symptoms and wish to get tested there are PCR facilities available:

  • Drive-through facility at Oxford Parkway
  • Banbury (Castle Quay shopping centre) - opening soon (an alternative mobile unit is available most days at Bodicote House).
  • Oxford (Osney Lane, and Oxford Brookes University in Headington)
  • Witney (Woodford Way car park).

How to get vaccinated in Oxfordshire

Booking a vaccine can be done simply via the NHS website

Meanwhile the local NHS are sometimes able to set-up walk-in vaccine clinics

Case rates in Oxfordshire

The countywide rate for the week ending August 13 was 255.6 per 100,000

By district the rates are:

  • Cherwell 290.4 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • Oxford 279.4 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • South Oxfordshire 229.5 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • Vale of White Horse 225.7 cases per 100,000 of the population
  • West Oxfordshire 245.8 cases per 100,000 of the population