SPI Chamber to participate in governor’s COVID-19 rapid testing project
The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce is now one of many chambers of commerce throughout the state participating in a program that will provide rapid COVID-19 tests to qualifying small businesses.
The SPI Chamber announced in a Tuesday news release they will be providing Abbott BinaxNow rapid COVID-19 tests following an invitation into the program from state Gov. Greg Abbott.
"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," Governor Abbott stated in the news release. "By expanding this effective strategy, it will help us further detect and mitigate this virus so we can keep Texas safely open for business.”
As part of the program, small businesses will be required to be trained on proper testing protocols, to include test administration and reporting of results as required by law.
The Chamber will also receive an allocation of the Abbott BinaxNow test kits, facemasks, product training, and support to refill supplies as available. Each test kit contains 40 tests and 1 bottle of reagent, the news release stated.
Dianna L. Harvill, test coordinator for the SPI Chamber, said the project will help keep local businesses open.
“Based on the criteria of the project the Chamber reached out to member businesses that have enough employees to utilize a kit in a relatively short period of time.” Harvill stated in the news release. “It would be great if we could supply every business with this opportunity, but since the test kits have 40 test cards and a single bottle of reagent, the test kits must remain with the business they are allocated to and cannot be shared with other businesses, and can only be used for employees of the registered business.”
The SPI Chamber will be able to request additional supplies after all participating businesses have administered and reported test results of at least 70% of the tests allocated to the Chamber.
The program was developed using the framework of the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for Texas school systems, implemented by the Texas Education Agency and TDEM in October, which provides access to rapid testing for Texas teachers, students, and staff in participating school systems, the news release stated.