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Private testing labs seeing huge demand in out-of-pocket COVID-19 testing |

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Private testing labs seeing huge demand in out-of-pocket COVID-19 testing

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- With the demand for COVID-19 testing continuing to rise and long lines of cars trying to get through testing sites, some are turning to places like private labs for quicker results with a hefty price.

At E7 Health, a PCR COVID-19 test will cost you $249.

"The technology costs us more, we have staffing for it, it costs more but for the people who need it at least it's available," said Dr. Jonathan Baktari, owner of E7 Health.

Nick from Montreal was waiting in line to get a test at E7 when he told 8 News Now of his need to use private testing, despite the price.

"I travel a lot so I have to get this every time, three times for every trip, the price of the tests is usually a lot more than the ticket," he said.

A common reason cited amongst those waiting in their car to get a test at E7 Health was convenience. At E7, you can get tested and receive results within an hour.

The private testing lab has more than 50 machines that can test for COVID-19. 

Dr. Baktari said the demand for their tests has skyrocketed since the holidays as the mild omicron variant spreads rapidly.

"The phones will not stop, it has been pretty crazy, pretty intense," Dr. Baktari said.

E7 has been testing more than 2,000 people a week with an average wait time of 20 minutes to get tested.

Jacob Duran said he was waiting all day at a YMCA testing site but was turned away as the site closed early. He had to come to a private testing lab like E7 because he needed to show test results for work.

"I definitely did not expect to pay $250 but it is something I have to do for the job opportunities, so I have to do what I have to do," Duran said.

8 News Now's Victoria Saha reached out to insurance agent Patrick Casale. He said tests done through private labs can be submitted as claims for reimbursement, but it is usually only approved if the test is medically necessary.

The Biden Administration is requiring insurers to reimburse Americans for at-home tests, a change that will kick in on Saturday.