Fort Worth is expanding a program that uses saliva samples to test people for coronavirus, replacing the old method of using nasal swabs.
The program is run by the fire department.
"Saliva has quite a bit of the virus in it,” Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis said.
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Davis followed the research into saliva testing for months before arranging with a New Jersey company to bring it to Fort Worth.
"It's really good because we need to keep the conversation going,” he said. “People need to know there's more testing capacity available now."
It costs about $90 a test, slightly less than nasal swabs, and it's just as reliable if not more so, Davis said.
The city is paying for the tests with federal money.
The program started a few weeks ago at two main locations – J.P. Elder Middle School and Dickies Arena.
It's working so well, the city is now expanding it to one in each of the eight council districts, Davis said.
The chief said switching to saliva testing is a no brainer.
"At least here in Fort Worth, it's all saliva-based testing,” he said.
Davis added the city is keeping a supply of nasal swabs to continue using in places like nursing homes and jails in case of an unexpected shortage in saliva tests.
Anyone in Fort Worth can get more information on testing locations and hours and sign up for an appointment on the Tarrant County health department's webpage.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.