Brighton & Hove Albion’s American Express Community Stadium has been converted into the south coast’s biggest drive-in coronavirus testing centre for key workers, as the club strengthens its commitment to assist the NHS and other essential services during the pandemic.
The site joins a rapidly expanding network of appointment-only testing centres being set up around the country, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS staff and other key workers.
Chief executive Paul Barber commented:
It has been amazing to see the Department of Health and Social Care, who are overseeing the set up of these vital test centres, working alongside the army, club staff, AAA security and the club‘s catering partners Sodexo who are helpig to run the site.
It is hugely impressive, and a great triumph of both teamwork and hard work. The Amex will be the biggest testing site anywhere on the south coast, and will be used for self-testing and assisted testing.
The members of our club and Sodexo staff who will be on site day to day have all been trained and the level of attention to detail is phenomenal. I visited the site today, and the team spirit was truly humbling.
Huge credit must go to our safety and security team, led by Ade Morris, and the Sodexo team led by Andy Perkins. They have been patient, diligent and supportive to the DHSC, NHS England and various other sub-contractors to make this happen.
We are committed to do everything we can to assist the NHS and other key workers during this crisis.
To help combat the virus, the Government has partnered with universities, research institutes and private companies to provide a new network of labs and field testing sites, with 32 sites like the Amex having been opened to date.
This network will provide thousands more PCR swab tests (used to identify if you currently have the virus) for critical key workers, starting with NHS front line staff. Those who test negative will then be able to return to work as soon as possible, and those who test positive will be given time to recover.
Adam Doyle, who is leading NHS Sussex’s fight against coronavirus, said:
Testing more of our staff and other key workers, so those who are fit can return to work, is an important part of our plans for responding to the virus.
This is one of four drive-through testing sites we now have across Sussex, supported with vehicles to test staff at home if they are unable to travel.
I’d like to thank colleagues from across the NHS, local councils and of course Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club for all their hard work in getting all these testing facilities up and running.
The stadium was already being used for the storage of vital healthcare supplies and will continue to be available for NHS and local emergency services training, in order to coordinate their efforts in the fight against the virus.
Featured image: BHAFC.