Small Business COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program
In an effort to help support the continued operation of small businesses throughout the state of Texas, Governor Abbott has invited Chambers of Commerce to participate in a program which will provide BinaxNow rapid COVID-19 tests to small businesses in their communities. Small Businesses will be required to be trained on proper testing protocols, to include test administration and reporting of results as required by law.
As part of the Nation’s Coronavirus Testing Strategy, the United States Health and Human Services Department has allocated a total of 150 million Abbott Labs BinaxNow rapid test kits. The state of Texas has begun receiving its weekly allotment of these tests for utilization in settings that need rapid, low-tech testing. These tools were specifically intended to support our critical infrastructure and surveillance screening in congregate settings, such as small businesses. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), has been directed to ensure the effective distribution of these kits to Chambers of Commerce in Texas to further this national effort.
TDEM will provide each of the participating Chambers of Commerce with BinaxNow test kits, facemasks, training, and support. Chambers of Commerce will identify one test coordinator as the point of contact with TDEM and will select the small businesses in their community which are interested in participating in the project. Participating businesses will identify staff members to be trained to administer the tests and report the results as well as determining the manner that the voluntary testing will be conducted for their employees. All testing of employees must be voluntary and not a condition of employment. Businesses will also be responsible for establishing appropriate policies for addressing positive Covid-19 test results of their employees, including the notification of local health departments.
- Governor Abbott Press Release
- Chamber of Commerce Intro Memo
- Statewide Chamber Project Summary
- Chamber Test Coordinator Responsibilities
- Small Business Test Administrator Responsibilities
- Small Business Quick Guide
- Visual Testing Process
- Medical Waste Instructions
- Local Health Departments
- Frequently Asked Questions
For Immediate Distribution | January 22, 2021 | (512) 463-1826
Governor Abbott, TDEM Expand COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program For Front Line Workers Of Small Businesses
AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) today announced the expansion of the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program for front line workers at Texas small businesses by dedicating 1 million BinaxNow Rapid Tests to the program. The COVID-19 Small Business Rapid Testing Program launched in December as a pilot program and has helped small businesses throughout the state conduct rapid tests on employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Through this program, TDEM will provide local Chamber of Commerce organizations with COVID-19 testing supplies that will then be allocated by the Chambers of Commerce to local small businesses that choose to participate in the program. Small businesses can then administer these tests to employees who choose to participate. The 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 provides access to rapid testing for Texas teachers, students, and staff in participating school systems.
"The small business rapid testing program is protecting the safety of small business owners, their employees, and Texas consumers as we continue to combat COVID-19," said Governor Abbott. "By expanding this effective strategy, it will help us further detect and mitigate this virus so we can keep Texas safely open for business. Thank you to our participating Chamber of Commerce organizations for continuing to work with the State of Texas to help protect our communities and small businesses."
Chamber of Commerce organizations that wish to participate in the program will receive instructions for registering for the program directly from TDEM, or they may visit https://tdem.texas.gov/chambertesting/ for further information.
Small businesses interested in participating in the program should contact their local Chamber of Commerce for more information.