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Red Cross performing free COVID-19 antibody test for Alabama blood donors

As part of a nationwide initiative, the Red Cross is performing a free COVID-19 antibody test for all blood donors in Alabama that give blood in upcoming weeks.

Antibody tests tell an individual if they had the coronavirus at some point in the past. Since June 15, all Red Cross donors who have given blood have received antibody results.

Experts say it is likely, but not certain, that those who have recovered from COVID-19 are immune to catching the virus again for some undetermined period.

The Red Cross says the free antibody test results will be available to donors “throughout the summer months.”
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and medical director of Transfusion Services at UAB Dr. Marisa Marques have both said that donating blood is a necessary service amid the pandemic and urged Alabamians who can to do so.

An average blood donation takes less than an hour from entering to leaving the facility.

The antibody tests are not limited to blood donors. A person giving platelets or plasma will be tested as well.

Results from the antibody tests are available with the Red Cross Blood Donor app or on RedCrossBlood.org about a week after the donation is completed.

The free antibody tests are being offered in all 50 states.

The Red Cross says that there is currently an “urgent need” for life-saving blood and platelet donations.

Locations where someone can donate blood are available in most cities across Alabama.

Those interested can find a local donation center here.

The Red Cross has assembled a webpage of information about its antibody testing program.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: [email protected] or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

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