SCRANTON, Pa. — It is free antibody testing with all blood donations, a recent change that means workers can test all samples and tell donors if they have COVID-19 antibodies.
A positive test means someone's body has responded to the virus, whether they have had symptoms or not.
“We rolled out with our first type of testing, antibody test in the middle of June, and now we have our second test so the wonderful thing about the second test is that we can use it for products that qualify from any whole blood donation anywhere in the country at a blood drive or donation site," said Dr. Erin Goodhue, executive medical director for American Red Cross.
Red Cross officials said this could help people all over the country recover from COVID-19 because plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is used as a treatment.
“I think this is a very important next step as we all work together to battle COVID-19 because we will be able to identify donors we hadn’t even considered and potentially give donors some peace of mind as to whether they had been exposed to COVID-19," said Dr. Goodhue.
Red Cross officials also said all this testing comes at a really important time when some medical experts predict a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“With the experts predicting a potential surge in late fall, early winter, we’re potentially going to make sure we need more convalescent plasma and to make sure patients suffering from COVID-19 have all potential treatment options.”
Donors can get test results from the Red Cross within one to two weeks.