Red Cross testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies


CORRECTION: The American Red Cross updated KSEE with a new start date for their antibody testing.

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — The American Red Cross started testing their blood donations for coronavirus antibodies on Monday.

Nicole Maul is the Spokesperson for the American Red Cross. She said this is something new they are starting to do.

“If you are in a Red Cross blood service area most specifically we do blood drives in Merced you can get tested for COVID-19 antibodies,” said Maul. 

Maul said right now they are testing their blood donations from Merced and the results take 7 to 10 business days. 

“We would encourage you to schedule a blood drive and now the added benefit is you can get that COVID-19 antibody testing,” said Maul.

The COVID-19 antibody test checks to see if you had the coronavirus and now have the proteins in your blood that help fight off the infection. 

Maul said although they are only testing at their Merced location donating blood is always needed. 

“But this is the one thing that we have to keep stocked on the shelves because if can’t be manufactured,” said Maul. “We have to have donors who are willing to roll up their sleeves and say yes I would like to give my blood to help someone down the road.”

Gordan Halstead with Central California Blood Center said they are currently have a blood drive to get more valley people to donate their blood. 

“Try and get as many blood units as we can for the summer. Summer is our hardest hit months,” said Halstead. 

Halstead said the Central California Blood Center doesn’t currently test for COVID-19 antibodies. But, they still work with county health departments and accept recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their plasma. 

“Manufacturer ways to get more people involved. Get that message out to the public and utilize the partnerships with our local government agencies community partners those kinds of things,” said Halstead. 

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