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Orange County COVID numbers appear to slow down

By Dawn Burleigh

According to numbers provided by Hardin County Health Department, Orange County had an increase of 244 cases of COVID since the numbers were released the previous week.

A grand total of cases of the virus is 6,056 since March 2020. The number of active cases is currently at 1,414, which is 208 higher than the previous week.

Thirty-six more persons have recovered from the coronavirus bring the total of recovered to 4,596 since the virus began.

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) announced, on Friday, the expansion of the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program for front line workers at Texas small businesses by dedicating 1 million BinaxNow Rapid Tests to the program. The COVID-19 Small Business Rapid Testing Program launched in December as a pilot program and has helped small businesses throughout the state conduct rapid tests on employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Through this program, TDEM will provide local Chamber of Commerce organizations with COVID-19 testing supplies that will then be allocated by the Chambers of Commerce to local small businesses that choose to participate in the program. Small businesses can then administer these tests to employees who choose to participate. The 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 (TEA) and TDEM in October, that provides access to rapid testing for Texas teachers, students, and staff in participating school systems.

“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,” Abbott said. “By expanding this effective strategy, it will help us further detect and mitigate this virus so we can keep Texas safely open for business. Thank you to our participating Chamber of Commerce organizations for continuing to work with the State of Texas to help protect our communities and small businesses.”

Chamber of Commerce organizations that wish to participate in the program will receive instructions for registering for the program directly from TDEM, or they may visit https://tdem.texas.gov/chambertesting/ for further information.

Small businesses interested in participating in the program should contact their local Chamber of Commerce for more information.