DENVER (KDVR) — Many planning to spend time with family and friends over the next couple of weeks are protecting loved ones by getting tested for COVID-19, but the holiday rush means there are delays in testing results.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the delays are expected to affect results for tests taken between Wednesday, Dec. 22, through Friday, Dec. 31. Anyone who needs results by the day before Christmas, Dec. 24, is encouraged to test by Tuesday, Dec. 21.

The CDPHE said if you want test results by New Year’s Eve, it’s a good idea to test on or before Monday, Dec. 27.

The Problem Solvers found CareNow Urgent Care and other sites have appointments available and in some cases are taking walk-in and drive-up appointments for COVID-19 rapid tests, where you can get same-day results. Appointments should be made online.

Those who want the PCR test, considered to be the gold standard with a higher accuracy rate, should allow extra time because results can take 24-72 hours.

“All of these are reliable and I think if we have a negative test it’s safe to trust them and be around family members as long as you’re not having signs of COVID,” Dr. Mark Montano, CareNow medical director, told FOX31.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough or a new loss of taste or smell.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention advises anyone with symptoms to get tested immediately and quarantine. The virus can take up to a week to register on a test after initial exposure.

Doctors tell the Problem Solvers that even if you are vaccinated, play it safe by wearing a mask and keep social distance.

For more information, visit the CDPHE website.