LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) -Monday, Governor Greg Abbott announced the Texas Division Of Emergency Management (TDEM) launched a covid-19 rapid testing pilot program for small businesses in the state. This will help small business owners provide rapid testing to their employees on site.
Lubbock is one of six cities in the state to be a part of this pilot program. Other cities include Amarillo, Edinburg, El Paso, And Laredo.
“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... Ensuring that Texas remains safely open for business,” said Governor Abbott in a news release Monday.
Testing supplies will be allocated by the chamber of commerce in each of the six pilot cities, including Lubbock. Officials at the Lubbock chamber explain how they are preparing, and how local businesses can sign up for testing kits.
“it’s the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 test kits. They’re readily available, they’re already been distributed to the Lubbock area,” said Eddie McBride, President & CEO for the Lubbock Chamber Of Commerce. “The school districts have already participated in this program. Because we are such a hotspot, we think it’s very important for businesses to be able to test their employees to determine whether or not that they’re actually carrying the COVID virus.”
McBride said TDEM asked him if Lubbock would participate in its pilot program.
“We were approached Friday to see if we would participate as one of the very few chambers in the state of Texas, that have been asked to participate in this pilot project, if we would help distribute test kits to local businesses, which we said, ‘Absolutely. When can we start?’” said McBride.
The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce is set to receive 640 COVID-19 testing kits. There are a few requirements for a business to sign up to receive the testing kits.
“We will make those available to businesses after they have a staff person that is certified off the TDEM website. And that they can prove that they are certified to both accept the test kit, as well as provide the test to their individual business staff,” said McBride. “This has opened up to any community business that is willing to get a staff person take the video and get certified and come pick up the test kits on behalf of their business. It’s going to be first come first serve.”
A few members of the Lubbock chamber of commerce are meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the distribution of the testing kits.
Any Businesses wishing to sign up for the testing kits can call the chamber of commerce at 761-1000. McBride said calling them is the best form of contact.
You can find more information on its website, click here.