Blood donors are needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Tucsonans can get an antibody test at the same time.
A community blood drive is being set up by national blood service provider Vitalant Wednesday. All donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Vitalant spokeswoman Sue Thew reminds that an antibody test is not the same as a COVID-19 test, but it can still yield some important information.
"People want to know right now what their antibody status is," she said. "No only does it tell somebody if they might have been previously exposed to COVID-19 but it will also tell them whether or not they may be a potential convalescent plasma donor in the future."
Health experts say many people who get COVID-19 are asymptomatic and do not know if they have had the virus. Thew says an antibody test can ensure the donor's blood is safe for those who are still recovering from coronavirus infection.
Appointments are recommended for entry to the blood drive, and social distancing measures will be followed. Vitalant hopes to get 300 donors to participate.