Blood donors now able to get antibody test when they donate

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many waited for more than an hour and a half to donate blood.

Donors can get their antibody test results within 48 hours. (WJHG/WECP)

"It's a good thing to do for society, one thing I can give back to society,” said Brian Battin, a blood donor.

Tuesday morning, OneBlood stationed two donation sites in front of the Bay County Government Center, helping to build back a strong inventory.

"Throughout this pandemic, it really has shown people the importance of a ready blood supply and the important role that blood donors play in saving lives,” said Susan Forbes, the Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for OneBlood.

While many waited to donate blood, they also waited for something else. At the Big Red Bus, they're offering the antibody test for COVID-19.

"Well, I'd love to know! You know I suspect the more people that get tested, the more people we'll find that have antibodies,” said Jennifer Morgan, a blood donor.

The antibody test goes beyond putting donors' minds at ease. It also allows for people to become convalescent plasma donors.

"That's giving a potential therapeutic treatment to help these coronavirus patients recover,” said Forbes.

The results also go to the government, showing the number of people who test positive and their location.

"They can get a better understanding of where are the positives coming from and use that data to use as a touchpoint to further re-open the economy,” said Forbes.

Now, some donors say in our community, the blood here runs thicker than water, and we’ll get through this together.

"With this community being hit recently with Hurricane Michael, we gotta be 850 strong,” said Battin.

Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. another blood drive and antibody test will be available outside of the Emergency Operations Center in Southport.

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