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The FEMA-run testing site will operate at the Cibotti Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia. Screenshot: Google Earth
The FEMA-run testing site will operate at the Cibotti Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia. Screenshot: Google Earth

Amid Philly hospital stress, FEMA opens COVID-19 testing site in Southwest

The FEMA-run testing site will be located at the Cibotti Recreation Center.

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COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging in the Philadelphia region and surrounding areas.

Now, a new FEMA-run testing site will open this Thursday, Jan. 6 at the Cibotti Recreation Center in Southwest Philly. The news comes from Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole, who made the announcement at the city’s daily coronavirus briefing on Jan. 5.

Bettigole has stated the site will be capable of administering at the least 500 tests per day. Last week, the testing site was promised by the Biden administration.

The health commissioner is hoping for a soft launch before the testing site gets things moving at a more steady pace.

Beginning this Friday, Jan. 7, the site is planned to be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Limited availability is to be expected.

One additional focus of Bettigole going forward is securing an eventual supplement of rapid at-home tests.

Despite a request submitted to the federal government, government entities have been unable to provide rapid at-home testing sites.

Meanwhile, Bettigole believes current cases may be undercounted due to lacking at-home tests, while the instated vaccine mandate for indoor eating establishments, and other locations, may be a significant driving force behind new vaccinations.

This article is part of Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project among more than 20 news organizations focused on economic mobility in Philadelphia. Read all of our reporting at brokeinphilly.org.

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