May 29th, 2020 – LifeShare Blood Center will temporarily be adding testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to the panel of testing for all volunteer blood donors.
The testing will begin on Monday, June 1st and end on Sunday, June 14th. The test can indicate whether someone has been exposed to COVID-19.
Over the past several weeks, LifeShare has received countless inquiries about antibody testing for COVID-19. LifeShare is now able to provide this service as a way to encourage people to donate blood. “When the pandemic first moved into our region, we saw a tremendous outpouring of support from our blood donors,” says LifeShare Regional Director Jessica Sears. “Since then, we’ve seen a decline in the number of people giving blood while at the same time, hospitals are beginning to address their backlog of elective procedures.”
Since the beginning of May, LifeShare has depleted more than 80% of its blood inventory.
There are no special qualifications needed to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Donors simply need to give blood, plasma, or platelets at any LifeShare donor center or mobile drive and meet the everyday regulatory requirements. All donors will need to bring a photo ID and must provide a valid email address. Donors will receive their results within two weeks of donating.
If COVID-19 antibodies are detected, that donor would be eligible to donate COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP) in the future. CCP is being used to treat the most critically ill COVID-19 patients. LifeShare was one of the first blood centers in the country to produce CCP and provide it to our partner hospitals.
The antibody test is not intended for those who are currently experiencing coronavirus symptoms or who believe they may currently be infected. Blood donors should be individuals who are in good health. Anyone experiencing symptoms should contact their physician and not attempt to donate blood.
A list of all donor centers and mobile drives can be found at LifeShare.org or on the LifeShare mobile app.
LifeShare continues to practice social distancing at all blood drives, including additional space between donor beds, enhanced and more frequent cleanings, and the use of mask or face shields by all staff working with donors.