Rapid Testing Pilot Program Aims To Help Small Businesses Mitigate Spread
AUSTIN – Small businesses are suffering from the effect of COVID-19, but while people are quick to point the finger at shutdowns, that’s not the only issue. Many small businesses have been forced to close because some or all of the employees were COVID positive or were expose to COVID-19 and required to quarantine.
Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) today launched a COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for front line workers at Texas small businesses. This program will help small businesses throughout the state conduct rapid tests on employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Through this pilot program, TDEM will provide local Chamber of Commerce organizations with COVID-19 testing supplies. The Chambers will allocate the supplies to local small businesses that choose to participate in the program. These small businesses can then administer these tests to employees who choose to participate. This program has been developed using the framework of the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for Texas school systems, implemented by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and TDEM in October, that ensures access to rapid testing for all Texas teachers.
Helping Texas Remain Open
“This rapid testing pilot program will protect the safety of small business owners, their employees, and Texas consumers as we continue to combat COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “This effective strategy will help us detect and mitigate this virus while ensuring that Texas remains safely open for business. I thank the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for providing these tests and our participating Chamber of Commerce organizations for partnering with the State of Texas to help protect our communities.”
The launch of the pilot program will include six participating Chamber of Commerce organizations. The state has plans to significantly ramp up the program across the state. Small businesses interested in participating in the program may contact their local Chamber of Commerce for more information.
Participating Chamber of Commerce organizations include:
Amarillo Chamber of Commerce
Amarillo Economic Development Corporation
Edinburg Chamber of Commerce
El Paso Chamber of Commerce
Laredo Chamber of Commerce
Lubbock Chamber of Commerce