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Demand For COVID-19 Tests Surge Alongside Spike In Cases

STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) - As cases of COVID-19 surge nationwide, due primarily to the highly contagious Delta variant, there is also a surge of people seeking COVID-19 tests.

"I'm double vaccinated, but I received an email. There was a positive COVID exposure," said Jordan Baron, who was waiting to get a test.

Baron was part of a steady stream of people showing up at Elements Pharmacy in Studio City, all voluntarily getting COVID-19 tests.

"I think it's peace of mind and our responsibility to get tested even if you've been vaccinated, if you know you've been exposed. I think it's the best way to keep things limited," Baron said.

A pharmacist at Elements, Daniel Castro spends less of his day dispensing prescriptions and more of it testing customers for the coronavirus.

"We're probably seeing twice to three times the amount we were seeing June and a little less than what we were doing in the holidays," Castro said. "More people are being exposed to COVID with more people getting COVID. So, people are testing fo that reason, and it's also people needing to do other things in life, like school and camps and they need a test if they're there as well."

The City of Los Angeles is seeing the same surge as private businesses. In June, they were testing about 2,400 people a day at area sites. This week, they were administering, on average, 5,000 tests a day.

"I just wanted to be safe. I felt like I had a headache. I was just freaking out," Teri Lyons, who went to a testing site in Balboa Park, said. "It's a drive through, very, very easy, very fast, very efficient. It's just peace of mind and to make sure I'm safe and others are safe as well."

While private testing sites will bill health insurance companies, it's important to remember that all COVID testing at Los Angeles City sites, as well as county sites, is free.

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