A NEW Covid-19 testing centre has opened at the home of Somerset County Cricket Club.

The Cooper Associates County Ground is hosting testing facilities for people set to undergo surgery and for symptomatic NHS workers, the club has confirmed.

It is set to test 900 people per week from this week, having previously been testing around 300.

"The aim is to keep transmission of infection to a minimum at local health care facilities such as Musgrove Park Hospital and to enable NHS staff to continue working when given the 'all clear'," a club statement said.

The spokesperson stressed that the testing site is not open to members of the public seeking a test.

"The testing centre at the Cooper Associates County Ground is be appointment only and for those who meet the above criteria," they added.

A public testing centre is open at Taunton Racecourse.

Somerset chief executive Gordon Hollins said: “The club greatly appreciates the support it has had for many years on and off the field and we now have a responsibility to play our part in helping the South West community get through this crisis.

"It is a privilege to host the NHS Testing Centre, which is so important in ensuring that our magnificent Doctors and nurses are protected.

"I am also delighted that so many of our players and staff have supported the community in different ways, from helping maintain the grounds of a care home to filling envelopes with Thank You cards being sent to Somerset’s army of 4000 volunteers."

Mel Schultz, who is responsible for COVID-19 testing at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We want to say a big thank you to Somerset County Cricket Club for kindly allowing us to use a section of the Cooper Associates County Ground to support Covid-19 swab testing for our staff and patients.

“This has been a truly fantastic example of how the local community has supported the NHS in creative ways during the Covid-19 pandemic.”