Local labs add COVID testing to the list of services with the promise of a quick result

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Right now, there is a growing demand for a COVID test throughout the country. In Jacksonville, we are seeing many new, free testing sites pop up. Some aren’t only looking for a test but also a quick result — especially those who are trying to travel or get back to work.

“What we found is a lot of people will go to the drugstore and get a PCR test done,” Randi Beesing said. Beesing is the co-owner of Any Lab Test Now. “Then they don’t get their test results back in time for their flight, so they kind of call us frantically.”

Johanna Wingate said she can finally breathe a sigh of relief. She leaves for the Bahamas with family and friends, but new restrictions require a negative COVID test to get in the country.

“I’m fully vaccinated, but now you have to have the rapid test before you can go,” Wingate said. “Everyone wants to travel, but it’s become just a lot of hoops to jump through.”

Wingate said she tried several other spots before getting lucky at Any Lab Test Now.

The lab recently started supplying tests for the general public when they started receiving an influx of calls from people in search of a COVID test.

The lab is working to become contactless, where patients will fill out everything online, call a number when they arrive and get tested in their car. Beesing asks that anyone who has been exposed or has symptoms, not to come inside the lab. She said she has seen dozens of breakthrough cases.

“They’ll even come in with no signs or symptoms,” Beesing said. “It [the vaccine] certainly has suppressed some of the symptoms that they may have.”

However, the tests aren’t free and they don’t accept insurance. It can cost between $129 and $200+, depending on the test you choose.

“Antigen is just a quick yes or no. It’s about 88-89% accurate. With a PCR test, you are looking at about a 99.9% accuracy,” Beesing said. The difference between their tests and public sites are that results are promised by 5 p.m. “It’s same-day results with us.”

So for some people, including Wingate, the price is worth it.

“You’re really just desperate to get a COVID test,” Wingate said.

The lab also offers antibody testing, which Beesing said, has been in high demand too.

“Antibody testing has become a real hot topic,” she said. “As people have gotten the vaccination and then they also want to know did they get antibodies from the vaccine, or if they had COVID previously, they wanna know if they still have antibodies.”

RESOURCES: Where to get a free COVID-19 test in the Jacksonville area