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Need a COVID test before Christmas? There's still time but act fast

Online at Curative.com, you can see a lot of appointments are still available, and walk-ins will be accepted.

HOUSTON, Texas — With just days until Christmas, your window for getting a COVID test is closing fast, but you still have time.

For the first time since January, a City of Houston testing site reached capacity Wednesday, meaning walk-ins were no longer accepted. But that was only two of dozens of sites open throughout the county.

Click here for a list of COVID testing sites in Houston. 

“This weekend, we’re traveling to the valley, to McAllen, to my wife’s family for our Christmas party. And part of the rule is we all have to have a test, a recent test," Joe Trevino said.

RELATED: Getting a COVID test before your holiday trip or party? Here's what you need to know

Trevino said he had no problem getting an appointment for a COVID test Wednesday, although the wait was a little long. 

“I didn’t think there was going to be any people here and here we are," Trevino said.

Online at Curative.com, you can see a lot of appointments are still available, and walk-ins will be accepted. But these sites offer only PCR tests, which means results take about 24 to 48 hours. But they’re more accurate.

“Specificity and sensitivity are significantly higher than any other diagnostic test," General Manager of West Field Operations for Curative Jamil Sabbagh said.

If time is of the essence, it's best to stick to the other type of test – the rapid one. You can do that one in person or at home.

RELATED: Yes, vaccinated people can spread COVID-19 to others

On this CVS website, you can see which stores still have at-home tests. That test is less accurate, but you can take it right before your event.

Something to know, tests at the four Houston Health Department fixed testing sites are completely free, and no insurance is involved.

But other privately owned sites, like Curative, will likely bill your insurance. If you receive a letter in the mail, it’s most likely an explanation of benefits from your insurance provider but not a bill.

“Curative will never bill a patient individually for a COVID test," Sabbagh said.

Thursday is the last day Curative sites will be open before Christmas. A few city sites will be open Friday, but everyone is closed on Saturday.

So if you want to get a test done before then, you better act fast.

Janelle Bludau on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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