The Grapevine Chamber of Commerce will begin distributing rapid COVID-19 tests to local small-business owners as early as next week to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
RaDonna Hessel, CEO of the Grapevine chamber, said the group has already received 2,000 tests as part of the COVID-19 Small Business Rapid Testing Program. These tests are provided as kits that contain 40 BinaxNow tests and can yield results in 15 minutes.
The initiative began in December and was spearheaded by Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Since then, it has been expanded to dedicate 1 million rapid tests for chambers of commerce across the state to be distributed to small businesses, according to a Jan. 22 news release.
The Grapevine chamber and the city will contract with Cleaning Guys Environmental to have a biohazard pickup site located at the chamber for participating businesses to use. The cost of this process will be covered by the chamber.
Chamber officials are also establishing criteria to ensure the tests are given to qualifying small businesses.
“The governor provided it with the concept of [it] being for small businesses, so it’s up to us to determine what does that look like,” Hessel said.
In order for the chamber to continue receiving rapid tests, 70% of the previous allotment has to be used. The program will be open to all Grapevine businesses, regardless of whether they are chamber members.
Participating businesses will need to have one staff member go through a free, 30-minute training session to ensure tests are properly administered, recorded and disposed.
“While there's no cost to them, there is the commitment of having a staff member go through the training,” Hessel said. “The goal is to get it to as many businesses as we can that are going to use it. They're going to have to commit to using them [properly].”
Businesses interested in participating should contact the Grapevine chamber to learn more.