The Red Cross Testing Donor Blood For COVID-19 Antibodies

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Starting this week the American Red Cross is testing donors’ blood for COVID-19 antibodies.

Western New York Red Cross chapter spokesperson Katie Potter said the organization hopes that by testing for the antibodies, they’ll be providing donors with insight as to whether they could’ve been exposed to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they’ve developed symptoms.

April 12, 2018. Fairfax Blood Center, Fairfax, Virginia Blood Donation 2018. Photo by Jeanette Ortiz-Osorio/American Red Cross

“We know that individuals and public health organizations are actively seeking more information in general about COVID-19, and we feel fortunate to be able to help in this way during the pandemic.” Potter said donors will get their antibody test results in 7 to 10 days.

A positive result doesn’t necessarily mean someone is immune to the new coronavirus. Potter adds that blood donation centers follow the highest safety and infection control standards.

Potter said there’s an urgent call for more donations as hospitals resume surgeries.

“The Red Cross hopes that testing for COVID-19 antibodies is going to provide our valued donors with insight they may be seeking into whether they could’ve been exposed to the coronavirus at some point, and if their body has produced antibodies regardless of whether they’ve developed symptoms,” Potter said.

There are a number of opportunities to give blood and get the antibody test over the next few weeks.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit redcrossblood.org or use the Blood Donor App to make an appointment.