Oakridge COVID-19 Assessment Centre closing July 16

Long wait times at the Oakridge Assessment Centre in London, Ont. on Sept. 16, 2020. (Jordyn Read/CTV London)

The COVID-19 testing centre at the Oakridge Arena on Valletta Street is set to close permanently in just over two weeks.

The Thames Valley Health Team says many employees will move either to one of the region's mass vaccination centres or the Carling Assessment Centre.

Officials are thanking the staff for their dedication and the community for their patience over the last 16 months.

As of Wednesday, in 335 days of operation, the centre had seen nearly 84,000 people and conducted just over 80,000 COVID-19 tests.

The centre was a partnership involving City of London, London Health Sciences Centre, Middlesex-London Health Unit, Middlesex-London Paramedic Services and Thames Valley Family Health Team.

The health unit says a shift in the pandemic means there are less people requiring testing as the vaccination rate climbs.

Once the Oakridge centre closes, those who need a COVID-19 test can get one either at Carling, which will have its hours expanded to seven days a week from 9:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. or at the MyHealth Testing Centre at 279 Wharncliffe Rd. N. in Suite 024.

Some local pharmacies and doctor's offices will also offer testing.