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Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock to hold Blood Drive July 19; Donors Receive VISA Gift Card and COVID-19 Antibody Test

By Harley Nefe

There will be a mobile blood drive at Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock, located at 278 Shoppes on the Parkway Road, on July 19 from 12-5 p.m. The Blood Connection will have a mobile bus in the parking lot.

The Blood Connection is a nonprofit organization. Blood can be donated every 56 days, and donors must be 16 years or older and over 110 pounds to donate. Sixteen year olds are required to have written consent to donate blood. A photo ID or The Blood Connection Donor ID Card is required to donate. Before a person donates blood, they should make sure they drink plenty of water and eat a healthy meal.

By participating, all donors are assisting the Courtney Gragg Scholarship Drive, sponsored by The Blood Connection. Additionally, all donors will receive a $20 VISA gift card, and a COVID-19 antibody test.

According to the CDC, antibody tests check an individual’s blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell if they had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections and can provide protection against getting that disease again or immunity. Antibody tests can aid in diagnosing symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals when combined with molecular tests and provide other clinical information. They can also identify individuals who have previously been infected with COVID-19 and recovered.

However, antibody testing is not COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Positive test results do not confirm infection or immunity.

Face coverings are recommended while donating, and are required by some cities and states.

To sign up to donate at the blood drive, people who are interested can visit this link: https://donate.thebloodconnection.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/149450