MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA — Community testing for coronavirus will continue in Montgomery County, officials announced on Thursday.

Although the site at Temple University-Ambler is now closed, a new site will open next week at Montgomery County Community College's campus in Whitpain Township.

Officials had previously said that the Temple-Ambler facility, which was sustained with significant federal resources from the Community-Based Testing Sites program, would close because federal funding had been withdrawn. The reasons for that were complex. FEMA said that the county wouldn't need their manpower or equipment anymore because self-administered tests were now available; however, these were not the most crucial pieces of federal support. Specifically, the county had no tests of their own, and the contract with LabCorp to do the testing was a federal one; without it, no testing could take place.

Whether this was an oversight, miscommunication, or clear-eyed decision to move funds elsewhere is not clear. An effort was spearheaded by Montgomery County's U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D-4) to regain funding. She gained support from several other southeastern U.S. Reps: Mary Gay Scanlon, Brian Fitzpatrick, Brendan Boyle, and Dwight Evans in petitioning the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and FEMA to restore funding.

"We know that in this pandemic the only way we will move forward is to test, find out where the disease is, try to mitigate, slow the spread, and treat earlier — that's the way we are going to save lives," Rep. Dean said in a statement Thursday, saying she was "relieved" by the federal decision. "We are all in this together."

Ultimately, they agreed, pledging on Thursday morning that funding for the new site would continue through May 30.

The goal is have the site open by next Wednesday, April 15. The site is not yet accepting appointments, but the county said they would be announcing the opening of appointments in the coming days.

Though the facility at Temple-Ambler had been scheduled to close Friday, it would have closed for good on Thursday, Arkoosh said, because the storm on Thursday afternoon destroyed the tents that had been set up.

A total of 4,711 people were tested at the Temple site before it closed.