New COVID-19 testing site offers easier test, but comfort comes at a cost

KPRC 2 reporter Cathy Hernandez has a look at the new testing site in Houston.

HOUSTON – A new COVID-19 testing site offering locals a more comfortable test has opened near NRG Stadium.

The site located at the old Sams Club on Fannin and the South Loop is giving people the chance to skip the nasal test and go for an easier, saliva-only test.

“We recognize that Houston is meeting testing capacity,” said the founder of Bloom Labs, Abbas Khan. “I think Houstonians are at the point where it’s not about getting tested or questioning if we should get tested, it’s now we need to get tested.”

The new site can do up to 1,000 tests a day and people getting tested will no longer have to do the uncomfortable nasal swab. Instead, they will be asked to give a saliva sample.

“It’s a lot more comfortable, it’s a lot easier to spit in a cup than it is to have something go far up your nose,” said Khan.

People can drive up to the location and register on-site before taking the test. Anyone being tested does not need to have symptoms to be tested.

It’ll take two to three days to receive the results, but Khan believes they could be more accurate than other tests.

“It has more sensitive results,” Khan said. “In your saliva, you carry a higher viral load. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, everybody needs to be tested, and we’re offering a solution here.”

However, while it may be easier on the person, the pocket still takes a hit. The tests cost $149 each and the location does not accept insurance.

The testing site is located at 1615 South Loop West and is open from Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Bloom Labs plans to open more testing sites around Houston and to test in the city for four to six weeks or as long as there’s a demand.

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