It also includes plasma and platelets.
Frederick, Md (KM) Through the remainder of June, all blood, plasma and platelet donations to the Red Cross will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Spokeswoman Regina Boothe Bratton says that began recently. “This is something we’ve been working on for some time since the onset of COVID-19,” she says.
Bratton says this will provide insight into whether donors were exposed to the coronavirus recently.
Samples for these tests are being drawn at all blood centers around the country, including the Red Cross Blood Center on Thomas Johnson Drive in Frederick.
She says it’s no different than the Red Cross testing for other infectious diseases such as AIDS. “There’s nothing extra a blood donor has to do,” says Bratton. “Make your appointment, of course. The procedure for donating blood is the same.”
The samples will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. “The donor will be notified whether or not they do have the antibody,” Bratton says. “This is whether or not you’ve have recovered from COVID-19, or if you’re not exhibiting any symptoms. If you;re asymtomatic.”
The Red Cross says a positive test for the antibody doesn’t mean you’re immune or you have the infection. If you;re concerned, Bratton suggests you contact your primary health care provider.
But she says don’t agree to give blood in order to find our if you have the COVID-19 virus. “We need you to give. We need everyone to give. We have had an influx of requests from local hospitals due to the fact that they’ve put a lot of elective surgeries back on the books. And so we have an urgent need. As part of our collection procedure, we are testing the antibodies,” says Bratton.
Those who want to be tested for the COVID-19 virus. can contact the Frederick County Health Department to find out where these tests are being administered.
By Kevin McManus