Montco Moves COVID-19 Testing Site; Opens Surge Hospital

Montgomery County is moving its drive-thru COVID-19 testing site from Temple University’s Ambler Campus to Montgomery County Community College.

The community-based testing location has been closed since April 10, 2020, after it suffered weather damage from thunderstorms.

The Temple University Ambler site was scheduled to permanently close on Friday due to a lack of funding by the federal government.

The Temple Ambler location successfully tested more than 4,800 people for COVID-19 since its opening on March 20, 2020.

Realizing the necessity of the community testing site, Pennsylvania Representative Madeleine Dean of the 4th Congressional District wrote a bipartisan letter urging Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to reconsider the decision.

“Montgomery County does not have the resources to keep the site operational without the support provided by the federal government – including testing kits, PPE, and the federal contract with LabCorp,” wrote Dean.

With federal funding secure, County Commissioners Chairwoman Dr. Valerie Arkoosh said in a press conference on Friday that the new testing site in Whitpain Township should be up and running by the middle of the week.

“We hope to have the new site up and running by next Wednesday, April the 15th. The appointment process will be the same. As soon as we are ready to take appointments, we will make an announcement,” said Arkoosh.

Montgomery County officials direct those who would like to be tested for COVID-19 to their website for most up to date criteria.

Arkoosh also warned the public that Southeastern Pennsylvania will reach its surge period this week and announced a new 40-bed surge unit will be available at Suburban Community Hospital in East Norriton Township. This will serve as an overflow hospital for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients if hospitals meet their capacities.

Arkoosh remains optimistic about the hospital saying, “We are hopeful that we will not need this surge hospital capacity, but it is very reassuring to know these beds are there should we need them.”

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