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Setting up a COVID-19 test centre

Client: Oxford City Council
Project: COVID-19 Test Centre at The King's Centre
Date of completion: February 2021

At such an important time for the country, with the NHS working so hard to protect everyone, it was important to ODS that we did our bit to support all our keyworkers.
ODS were asked to assist in the set-up of a COVID-19 test centre in the King’s Centre,
Osney. The centre was to provide regular testing for key workers to ensure they are not

ODS were originally asked to provide paid volunteers to assist at the centre, but as soon as we arrived onsite we realised that we could help with many other aspects of the set up. The external area required some urgent improvement works to make access safe
and suitable for members of the public to attend.

This was a challenging project which involved unprecedented collaboration throughout
ODS. Our Customer Experience Manager worked closely with the OCC Communities Team.

This single point of access for ODS support guaranteed that the project ran smoothly,
taking any stress away form the client and allowing them to concentrate on the vital work running the test centre. Our close relationships with Oxford City and County Councils and other key stakeholders meant that we could get things done quickly and efficiently.

Many of our divisions were involved, working together to achieve a quick turnaround,
ensuring that the site met H&S requirements.

Streetscene division power-washed the pavement areas and cleared all the fallen leaves
to ensure the safety of visitors coming to the centre. A deep clean of the perimeter of the
King’s Centre building included leaf blowing, weeding, and lots of shovelling.

Our Graffiti Team took the exterior clean to the next level with specialist hot wash
equipment, concentrating on the slippery exit ramp and footpaths.

Highways and Engineering delivered crowd barriers for the internal cordon and oneway
system. The barriers were essential for effective queuing and maintenance of social
distancing during testing. We were able to provide the barriers from our stock which
meant both a financial saving for the client and reducing any delays in set up.

ODS were also called on to assist with flood management. Balancing city-wide demand,
we kept emergency water pumps in place in Osney to prevent roads flooding and limiting access to the testing site.

The day the testing site went live was the beginning of the coldest week in the UK for ten years. OCC enlisted our help to explore contingencies if the King’s Centre heating systems couldn’t cope. Our excellent team had a solution in place by teatime.

The site went fully operational on Monday 8 February – the culmination of an enormous
amount of work and a true testament to the skills and dedication shown by colleagues
across the whole of ODS. As a business we can provide a range of services from street
cleansing, housing repairs, recycling and waste to construction works. This project is a
fantastic example of how our teams are able to pull together to support organisations
when there is an urgent requirement.

“Support from ODS colleagues has been invaluable as they were able to deliver on so many fronts with a short turnaround. Working with the County, other districts, and Public Health, this has been a true team effort and an important part of the fight
to control the virus and keep our frontline services working.” - David Morrell, East Oxford Locality Coordinator and Project Lead

“ODS did a fantastic job cleaning my parking area. I have found areas the parking lot that I hadn’t seen in two years. I highly recommend the ODS team.” - Tim King, General Manager


Download the COVID-19 Test Centre case study PDF