All Things Considered
Some local officials are disappointed the federal government will end
funding for coronavirus testing sites this Friday. In a few places
those sites will close as a result. This as criticism continues that not
enough testing is available.
In the Philadelphia suburbs, Montgomery County has a drive-through site that has tested 250 people a day since March 21.
has been a very successful site. We are hoping by the time it closes
Friday afternoon that we will have tested a little over 5,000
individuals," says Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, who chairs the commission in the
county of more than 825,000 people.
Montgomery County has been hit hard by the pandemic. By Tuesday the county identified 1,294 positive cases and reported 32 COVID-19-related deaths.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
tells NPR, "Many of the Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) are not
closing, but rather transitioning to state-managed sites on or about
The agency and a spokesperson for FEMA say the CBTS
program originally included 41 sites. It was intended as a stop-gap to
bring testing to critical locations, especially for health care facility
workers and first responders.
"The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility
and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of
their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are
needed the most," the HHS spokesperson said.