AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) -Texas launched a COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for front line workers at small businesses on Monday, Dec 7.

According to Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the 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 Chambers of Commerce with COVID-19 testing supplies that will then 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 and TDEM in October, that ensures access to rapid testing for all Texas teachers.

“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 includes six participating Chamber of Commerce organizations with 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

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