Patient First, American Red Cross offering COVID-19 antibody tests

Patient First, American Red Cross offering COVID-19 antibody tests

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - More and more health organizations are now offering COVID-19 antibody testing with a simple blood test.

The antibodies in your blood can tell you if you’ve previously had COVID-19 and didn’t know it because you were asymptomatic.

The American Red Cross announced last week they would test all incoming blood donations and on Thursday, Patient First announced they’ve launched walk-in antibody testing.

”There’s been a lot of interest from patients. A lot of people haven’t felt well recently, and they want to understand: ‘Did I have COVID-19?’” said Patient First’s Vice President of Public Relations, Ian Slinkman.

Starting this week, Patient First is allowing people to just go to any of their locations during business hours and get their blood tested for COVID-19 antibodies with no appointment necessary.

”You’ll be seen by our provider, they will take a blood sample, we’ll send it to an outside reference lab, and they’ll send the results back to us, which we’ll communicate to the patient,” Slinkman said, adding those results can be back within two to five days.

If you’d rather help others while finding out if you’ve had the virus at the same time, you can donate blood and get tested with the American Red Cross.

”By encouraging more people to donate, that will allow us to meet the needs of our area hospitals,” said Jon McNamara with the American Red Cross.

He adds that the summer months are usually challenging for the organization in terms of blood supply, and to top it off, blood is very much in demand.

”Whether you’re donating whole blood, plasma or platelets, will be tested now,” McNamara added.

But no matter which route you go, these sorts of procedures could be beneficial in the fight against the virus because “the data that’s collected from these tests helps state health departments understand the spread of the disease,” said Slinkman.

Blood donations with the American Red Cross can be scheduled on their website or their Blood Donor mobile app.

Patient First locations can be found on their website.

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