JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Marsh Regional Blood Center announced Monday that it will offer free COVID-19 antibody testing to blood donors beginning Monday.
Marsh said antibody testing does not indicate if someone currently has the coronavirus, but it can reveal a previous infection.
The blood center hopes that offering antibody testing will advance COVID-19 research and bring in more blood donations.
Testing will only be available to those who successfully complete a pre-screening and are confirmed as being eligible to donate.
“The patients that will be eligible for testing are those who donate whole blood, platelets, or plasma — you don’t have to donate plasma to get this test,” said Evan Kulbacki with Marsh Regional Blood Center. “The only thing that’s different about this whole process is just filling out a piece of paper and initialing that you would like to receive your results.”
Marsh says donors will be notified of their test results by mail within two weeks. The blood center will reach out to anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 antibodies.
When registering, donors will be asked if they would like to donate convalescent plasma to help treat critically ill COVID-19 patients.
The antibody test will be offered to those who donate at one of Marsh’s collection centers or public blood drives. An appointment is required before donating at any blood center. Donors may call 423-408-7500, 423-652-0014, or 423-282-7090 or visit www.marshblood.com for more information about appointments.
The blood center listed the following upcoming blood drives:
Monday, July 20, noon-6 p.m.
Morgan Memorial United Methodist Church, Rose Hill, Virginia
Tuesday, July 21, 1 -6 p.m.
Valley View Freewill Baptist Church, Clintwood, Virginia
Tuesday, July 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
CVA Heart Institute, Kingsport, Tennessee
Tuesday, July 21, 1:30-5 p.m.
UPM Pharmaceuticals, Bristol, Tennessee
Wednesday, July 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sapling Grove Urgent Care, Bristol, Tennessee
Wednesday, July 22, 1-6:30 p.m.
St Anne Catholic Church, Bristol, Virginia
Wednesday, July 22, 4-8 p.m.
Ridgeview Baptist Church, Church Hill, Tennessee
Wednesday, July 22, 4:30-8 p.m.
South Holston Ruritan, Bristol, Tennessee
Thursday, July 23, 9 a.m.-noon
Microporous, Piney Flats
Thursday, July 23, 1:30-4 p.m.
Marion Mold & Tool Inc., Marion, Virginia
Thursday, July 23, 1-5 p.m.
Wolf Hills Fabricators and Komatsu Mining Corp., Abingdon, Virginia
Friday, July 24, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
The Robinette Company, Bristol, Tennessee
Friday, July 24, noon-5 p.m.
Calvary Church, Johnson City
Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Historical Society of Washington County (hosted by the Abingdon Rotary Club), Abingdon, Virginia