By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The American Red Cross is doing COVID-19 antibody testing on donated blood. This is not a diagnostic test.
"A diagnostic test would be one that you would be given if you had symptoms of the coronavirus," said spokesperson Jan Hale. "This antibody test is going to see if perhaps your body did build up some antibodies to the virus and you may not have even had symptoms."
Blood that is donated is tested for many diseases already before it is released into the blood supply.
"Every blood donation goes through some rigorous testing," Hale said. "This is just in addition to those tests. The Red Cross feels like this is kind of a win-win situation. We're thanking our generous donors for coming in to give and to help save a life and in return, we're saying, we know that you want additional information during these uncertain times."
It's still important that you only donate if you feel well.
"Again, this is not a diagnostic test," Hale said. "It's not going to be done at the drive. This is something that happens to your donation. That test will be administered after you have donated and when that collection unit has been sent for testing."
The best way for you to sign up for a blood drive and give them your information so they can get back with you is to use the Red Cross Blood Donor app. You can find it on your app store. The next public blood drive scheduled in Hutchinson is July 18 at the Hutchinson Mall.