June 9th, 2020 – LifeShare Blood Center is contacting several blood donors this week to let them know they were likely exposed to coronavirus.
On June 1st, LifeShare began offering free COVID-19 antibody testing to all blood donors. LifeShare will continue testing all donors through Sunday, June 14th.
Out of the more than 2,500 people who donated during the first week of the event, 1,558 tests have been completed thus far. Of those 1,558 donors, antibodies to COVID-19 were discovered in 23 – meaning they were exposed to the virus at some point.
This information is not only valuable for the donor, it also helps LifeShare continue to add to its pool of eligible convalescent plasma donors. Donors with COVID-19 antibodies are automatically eligible to donate COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP) in the future. CCP is being used to treat the most critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Going into June, the blood supply was dwindling and LifeShare had a 1-2 day supply of blood. After one week, LifeShare now has a 3-day supply of blood available to local hospitals. LifeShare is expecting to see above average donations to continue through the end of the event on June 14th.
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.
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.