Private labs an option as COVID-19 testing demand increases

CLERMONT, Fla. — At COVID testing sites across Central Florida, long lines have left many people seeking free COVID testing frustrated.

Many people do not realize, however, that COVID tests are covered by insurance, and that can be the difference between waiting hours or minutes.


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Nathan Hawkins of Physicians Stat Lab in Clermont said many private labs like his have been doing COVID testing during the pandemic.

“We do take all insurances, so your insurance will pay if you have insurance. If you don’t, the government will subsidize us to be able to run your COVID test,” he said.

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Hawkins said his lab has seen a huge uptick in demand recently and seen a lot of positive tests, around 38% this past week.

“They’re telling us the story about how it’s very difficult to spend that amount of time and not be able to get a test,” Hawkins said.

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He said as omicron cases continue to increase, so will anxiety; and more opportunities for testing should alleviate some of those concerns.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.