Photo by Sheri Determan

Calvary Baptist Church of Santa Monica and the GUARDaHEART Foundation are uniting to provide free COVID-19 antibody testing to anybody who is interested in the opportunity.

The community event starts on Thursday and will run through Saturday, Nov. 21 at Calvary Baptist Church of Santa Monica, which is located at 1502 20th Street. Asymptomatic individuals who suspect they may have come in contact with the coronavirus or have recently experienced symptoms but were never tested as well as individuals who believe they may be showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are recommended to stop by and take a test from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on any of those days. Registration is recommended but walk-ins will be accepted.

Under the CARES Act, the COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 serology antibody tests will be available to anyone in the community regardless of whether or not they have insurance. GUARDaHEART officials believe it’s quite the opportunity since the COVID-19 antibody test is authorized for emergency use by the FDA and is one of the most reliable antibody tests currently available.

GUARDaHEART has offered tests to Southern California communities throughout the pandemic. A recent event in Crenshaw garnered more than 1,700 people in a 36-hour span, and Calvary Baptist Church’s Pastor Mack Mossett hopes the event here in Santa Monica is just as helpful to local community members.

“It was brought to me by one of our members who have worked with them on similar events and another one of the like,” Mossett said Tuesday. “I just thought it would be great to bring it to our community. I think we should always be interested in doing anything that we can to participate and partner in turning this pandemic around; and in order to do that, one of the first things that needs to happen is you got to be tested — you got to understand what’s going on with you before you can seek the right treatment. So I think it’s a great thing to push out and make available to the community and we’re excited.”

Church leaders and GUARDaHEART have spent weeks working on the logistics of the drive- or walk-up event, according to Mack, who said it will be similar to how it was done at the City’s recent influenza vaccination offering.

“Everyone has been pushing it on their personal social media. We’ve notified all of the area’s churches and businesses around here have gotten flyers,” Mossett added. “It is for anyone who walks up… They’ll take anybody. The community has no borders. In reality, anyone who comes through is welcome.”

Testing starts at age one but anyone under 18-years-old must be accompanied by an adult. To register for the event, residents are encouraged to visit bit.ly/CalvaryTest.