Blood donors to receive free COVID-19 antibody testing from South Texas Blood & Tissue Center

Priscilla Aguirre

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center will provide free COVID-19 antibody testing to blood donors from June 8 to Aug. 31, the blood center announced in a news release Saturday.

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center will provide free COVID-19 antibody testing to blood donors from June 8 to Aug. 31, the blood center announced in a news release Saturday.

Photo: Marvin Pfeiffer /Staff Photographer

Photo: Marvin Pfeiffer /Staff Photographer

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center will provide free COVID-19 antibody testing to blood donors from June 8 to Aug. 31, the blood center announced in a news release Saturday.

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center will provide free COVID-19 antibody testing to blood donors from June 8 to Aug. 31, the blood center announced in a news release Saturday.

Photo: Marvin Pfeiffer /Staff Photographer

Blood donors to receive free COVID-19 antibody testing from South Texas Blood & Tissue Center

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center will provide free COVID-19 antibody testing to blood donors from June 8 to Aug. 31, the blood center announced in a news release Saturday.

The organization is using the antibody test to determine if a person was previously infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the blood center’s website. The antibody test is not intended for people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and does not check for the presence of the virus, the organization added.

If a donor tests positive for the COVID-19 antibody, he or she may be able to donate “convalescent plasma” to treat patients suffering from the virus. According to the blood center’s website, convalescent plasma containing COVID-19 antibodies may potentially boost a patient’s immune system and help them recover.

RELATED: ‘We are in a shortage’: South Texas Blood and Tissue Center in critical need of donations

Results will show if the donor has been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 by looking for antibodies the immune system produces in response to the virus. Test results will be mailed to donors within 14 days of their donations, which are by appointment only.

The blood center is giving out the antibody test for free as a way to thank donors. The blood center said that close to 200 blood drives, representing almost 6,000 donations, have been canceled due to the stay-home and other health-related orders.

As of Saturday, the blood center only had a two-day supply of blood in its inventory, the release said. The community blood supply needs 500 donations or more a day to meet hospitals’ demands.

Donations are by appointment only. The blood center is asking donors to call 210-731-5590 if they cannot keep their appointment.

To schedule an appointment, donors can call the same number or visit SouthTexasBlood.org/Give-Now.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is asked to remain home and to contact his or her physician.

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for MySA.com | priscilla.aguirre@express-news.net | @CillaAguirre



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