Lubbock is joining a short list of Texas cities participating in a rapid testing pilot program for COVID-19.

The initiative, announced by Governor Greg Abbott on Monday, December 7th, is designed to help small businesses protect their employees and customers alike. Even if a COVID-19 vaccine is imminent, cases and hospitalizations are still surging across Texas and the U.S.

As part of the program, Governor Abbott explained that the Texas Division of Emergency Management will provide the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce with BinaxNOW rapid testing kits to be distributed to small businesses who decided to get in line.

CEO of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Eddie McBride spoke about the plan for distributing the rapid tests on the KFYO Morning Show with Dave King and Matt Martin on Tuesday, December 8th, saying that Lubbock will be receiving the rapid tests in batches of 40.

McBride also said that small businesses who want to receive the rapid tests must first have someone become certified in administering the test to employees. That requires a small amount of training, but once completed, the process would continue on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lubbock is one of five Texas cities currently in the program. A number of kits have already been delivered to the city, with a total of 640 kits scheduled to be delivered over the coming days.

Other cities in the program include Amarillo, Edinburg, El Paso and Laredo, all locations where COVID-19 is surging the most in Texas. Meanwhile, Texas is set to receive its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine as early as December 14th.

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