In an effort to help support the continued operation of small businesses throughout the state of Texas, the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FWHCC) will be participating in a program established by Governor Abbott to 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.
“Our community has been devasted by the loss of loved ones and community leaders,” stated FWHCC President and CEO Anette Landeros. “Our Chamber feels a sense of duty to help in any way possible, which now includes coordinating the dissemination of free COVID test kits so that small business can test and keep their employees safe. Faster confirmation of a positive COVID case will hopefully help us slow the spread.”
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.
The FWHCC will make the Binax test kits available to any existing or new chamber member business with fewer than 500 employees. TDEM will provide each of the FWHCC with BinaxNow test kits, facemasks, training, and support. 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.