“We looked at this as a value to our membership,” Chamber President and CEO JoAnn Malone said. “And what we did is we took it a step further and partnered with some of our businesses in the community to pull this off.”
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the chamber will provide drive-up testing at the chamber of commerce building. Volunteers who have medical training will oversee the testing, Malone said. The testing will be limited to members of the chamber and their employees who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
The chamber received 46 testing kits from the state, and each kit contains 40 BinaxNow tests, which are rapid tests that deliver results in 15 minutes.
Other nearby chambers, such as Grapevine and Frisco, have provided the kits to businesses so they can test their own employees. Malone said that Keller’s plan to administer tests directly to those experiencing symptoms will simplify the logistics for very small businesses in the city.
“I didn’t want to give a full kit of 40 to somebody that only has two or three employees," she said. "Plus, if you get a kit like that, you have to have somebody that we would train to follow all the protocols, do the data entry and the statistical stuff. If you just let us do the testing for you, you don't have to worry about that."
Kits are provided to chambers of commerce as part of the COVID-19 Small Business Rapid Testing Program, a statewide initiative launched in December by Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The program was expanded in January, according to a statement by the governor's office, and 1 million rapid tests were directed to small businesses.
The program was developed using a framework established by the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program, according to the statement. That program was a joint effort by TDEM and the Texas Education Agency to provide schools with access to rapid testing.
How to make an appointment with the Keller chamber
Call the chamber of commerce at 817-431-2169. Appointments will be available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2-4:30 p.m. at 420 Johnson Road, Ste. 301. Results will be reported to state and federal officials for statistical and contact-tracing purposes.
More information will be available on the Greater Keller Chamber of Commerce website and Facebook page.