Upcoming blood drives and antibody testing begins on all blood donations with The Blood Center


New Orleans, LA. – Effective Tuesday June 2nd, The Blood Center (TBC) will begin testing all donors/donations for COVID-19 antibodies.

This free service will inform the donor if they carry the COVID-19 antibody, which will indicate whether the individual has been exposed to the virus. Antibody tests check your blood by looking for antib​odies, which can show if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections and usually provide protection against getting that disease again. Antibodies are disease specific. Those testing positive for the antibody should not assume they are immune from the virus. The antibody test is not for diagnostic use and will not indicate if currently have the COVID-19 virus and donors should never attempt to donate if they are experiencing any symptoms or are generally not feeling well. Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the test may not find antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection. To see if you are currently infected, you would require a viral test. Viral tests identify the virus in samples from your respiratory system, such as swabs from the inside of your nose.

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Initially the turnaround time to receive results will require a minimum of 48 hours after the donor completes their blood donation. The Blood Center is currently working to reduce that turnaround time to make results available no more than 24 hours post donation. Donors need to visit TheBloodCenter.org and log into My Account for their results.

Donors who test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be eligible to donate COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP). “We’ve seen promising results from patients who’ve received CCP, but there’s only a few recovered patients who are eligible to give at this time” says Dr. Tim Peterson, Medical Director for The Blood Center. “The scarcity of donors with the COVID antibody makes this test extremely beneficial to patient care.” The performance of this testing will also provide surveillance to provide state officials, as TBC will be reporting this information to the Louisiana Department of Health regarding exactly what percentage of the population has been exposed to COVID-19.

Here is a list of upcoming Blood Drives around the Coast:

Thursday, June 4

  • Grand Magnolia Ballroom
  • 3604 Magnolia St., Pascagoula
  • 8am to 3pm
  • Sponsored by Pascagoula Rotary and Singing River Health System

Friday, June 5

  • Wade Baptist Church
  • 20623 Hwy 63, Moss Point
  • 12pm – 7pm

Saturday, June 6

  • Connect Fellowship Church
  • 15521 Oak Lane, Gulfport
  • 10am – 4pm

Monday, June 8

  • Gautier Donor Center
  • 1408 Hwy 90, Suite 5
  • 11am – 6pm


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