Red Cross To Test All Blood Donations For COVID-19 Antibodies

Jun 16, 2020

When blood is donated, it’s tested for diseases like HIV and Hepatitis before being sent to hospitals for use. Now, for a limited time, The American Red Cross will test all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies and notify donors whether they have been exposed to the virus.

A blood donor gives the thumbs up as he donates a pint.
Credit American Red Cross

The antibody test will indicate if the blood donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to novel coronavirus—regardless of whether or not they had symptoms.

Samples from blood donations are tested for communicable diseases at the Red Cross national testing lab. For a limited time, samples will also be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
Credit American Red Cross

Jennifer Shaw is Local Market Manager with Red Cross. She says samples of all donated blood go to their national testing lab. The antibody test will be read as positive or negative.

“This is an FDA approved test with decent response rate. So that test result will be available to the donor seven days after they gave, either on our website or on their Red Cross blood donor app.”

Strict health and safety protocols are observed at all American Red Cross blood donation sites. Appointments are required to help maintain physical distancing.
Credit American Red Cross

Shaw says there is an urgent need for blood right now- as hospitals resume surgeries delayed by the pandemic. She hopes the COVID-19 antibody testing will be an incentive for healthy people to make an appointment, put on a mask and give blood.

To find Donation Centers and Blood drives in your area: