Artesia Masonic Lodge 406 is sponsoring a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at Walmart in Terrell.

Along with adding to the supply of much needed blood, the blood collected from individuals will be tested by Carter BloodCare for COVID-19 antibodies.

The community blood supply is experiencing its most prolonged period of a critical shortage in recent history, according to Carter BloodCare. All blood types are needed. Hospital patients are in jeopardy of not receiving the transfusions they require and hospital executives are monitoring day-to-day their ability to provide a full scope of services, based on the day’s blood inventory, according to Carter BloodCare.

In the midst of such dire circumstances, the blood center is showing appreciation to blood donors by providing no-cost COVID-19 antibody testing for a limited time.

The test is an indicator of someone’s exposure to coronavirus but is not an indicator of immunity to COVID-19. When truly positive (false positives can occur) the test indicates it is likely you had COVID-19, even if you did not show symptoms. A truly negative test (false negatives can also occur) means it is unlikely you have had the COVID-19 infection.

This is not a COVID-19 diagnostic test. If you are feeling ill, do not attempt to give blood. Contact your medical provider. Blood donors are required to feel healthy and well at the time of donation.

Blood donors will be able to retrieve the test results within one to two weeks after a donation by going online.

See more information at the Carter BloodCare website.

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