Questions and Answers about Coronavirus

Bloodworks is testing all whole blood donors
for COVID* antibodies

through October 31, 2020

You may be able
to donate the
plasma COVID-19
patients need.

When you donate whole blood, we prepare a plasma unit and a unit of red blood cells. The red cells will be used by patients in need, and if your plasma contains COVID antibodies, it will be used by a COVID patient—and you may be able to donate every 7 days to treat COVID patients.

Donors will be notified of the results by mail within two weeks of donation. Please do not call for results because we cannot provide them by phone.

*Bloodworks is testing all whole blood donors for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID

sheliajulich_ig

As featured on the Bloodworks 101 podcast, Sheila recovered from COVID-19 and is now the “Grandma with superpowers” because of the antibodies in her plasma.

If you have recovered from COVID-19,
your plasma donation may be the
treatment someone is waiting for.

ccp_graphic_1200px_v2

Frequently Asked Questions

What are antibodies?

Antibodies are your body’s immune response to an infection.

What is the SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) antibody test?

The COVID-19 antibody test will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus which causes COVID-19, regardless of whether the person ever showed symptoms. COVID-19 antibody testing will be performed for a limited time in addition to the standard infectious disease testing all blood donations receive.

Why is Bloodworks performing the SARS-CoV-2/COVID Antibody test?

When you donate Whole Blood, we prepare a plasma unit and a unit of red blood cells – both are transfused to patients.

We are performing the test to find donors who have antibodies so we can transfuse their recently donated plasma to COVID patients and to encourage those donors to donate again soon.

What should I do if my test is positive for the COVID-19 antibody?

Plasma from blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies will likely be designated for COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP). >>Learn more about Convalescent Plasma donation.

Here’s how this works: when you donate whole blood, what most people think of as the typical blood donation, Bloodworks turns your donation into a unit of plasma and a unit of red blood cells; both are transfused to patients. If you test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, the plasma component of your blood donation will likely be prepared into CCP for COVID-19 patients.

Bloodworks will also contact you to discuss the best donation option for you. We encourage you to do a plasmapheresis donation where we can obtain four CCP doses – helping up to four COVID patients.

How does this COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma help COVID patients?

Antibodies from people who have recovered from COVID-19 may help other people recover from COVID-19, supplementing their own immune response.

Do I need an appointment to donate blood and receive the COVID-19 antibody test?

Yes, you must have an appointment to donate blood at any Bloodworks Donor Center or Pop-Up location. You may book online at schedule.bloodworksnw.org. Please contact us at 800-398-7888 if you are looking for a same-day appointment. Due to social distancing, no walk-ins or guests are allowed.

Is the COVID-19 the same as a diagnostic test?

No. The SARS-CoV-2 antibody test does not test for the presence of COVID-19 infection. The antibody test looks to see if the blood contains antibodies to the virus after infection. The test does not check for the presence of an active COVID-19 infection. Please do not donate if you feel unwell.

Is the COVID-19 antibody test something I should be concerned about?

COVID-19 antibodies are not harmful to you. In fact, these antibodies have special lifesaving potential in the form of convalescent plasma. Studies have shown that by transfusing the plasma from a person who has recovered from the coronavirus and has made antibodies, into a patient still fighting the virus, can help boost the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover. The blood component/treatment is known as, COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma or CCP.

Will I get my test results after I donate?

Your results will be mailed and should be received by you within approximately two weeks. Please confirm at registration that we have your current mailing address, phone number, and email address on file. You may update your contact information by calling us at 800-398-7888 or filling out our online form.

It’s been over two weeks and I didn’t receive my test results; who do I contact?

You can complete a comment using our online form and someone will respond. Please do not call us, as our contact center representatives cannot give out test results over the phone.

Do I need to have a successful donation to receive my results?

Yes. You must have a successful donation in order to receive COVID-19 antibody results. If you are unable to complete your donation, the COVID-19 antibody test will not be performed or provided.

If I can’t donate blood, can I still get the test?

Antibody testing is performed only on complete donations that will be used for patient transfusion. The antibody test will be performed for a limited time in addition to the standard infectious disease testing all blood donations receive.

If I donated before August 17, was my blood tested? Can my previous donation be tested for the antibody?

No. However, Bloodworks will be testing whole blood donations for the COVID-19 antibody through October 31, so you are encouraged to book your next appointment and your donation will be tested at that time. Bloodworks may extend the testing in the future depending on a continued need for more convalescent plasma donors.

If I test positive, does it mean I’m immune to COVID-19?

No. A positive result indicates that you may have had previous exposure to COVID-19 and your body has developed antibodies to the virus. This is not a diagnostic test. Both the FDA and CDC have said they do not know if the antibodies that result from a COVID-19 infection will provide someone with immunity from a future coronavirus infection.

Each person’s immune system is unique and antibody levels vary. At this point, there is not sufficient scientific evidence to indicate if antibodies convey immunity to infection.

My antibodies tested positive; can I donate convalescent plasma (CCP)?

You will be receiving a confirmation letter in the mail from Bloodworks regarding your positive COVID-19 antibody test result. After you receive the letter, someone from Bloodworks will be calling you to determine your eligibility to become a convalescent plasma donor.

What’s the difference between SARS-CoV-2 and COVID?

SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus itself that causes Coronavirus Disease (COVID).

Support Bloodworks’ COVID-19 Program