SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Florida is working hard to get our economy back up and running, but in a safe way. That’s why officials are saying that antibody testing could be the answer to that. OneBlood is joining in to help focus on the next step in combating COVID-19.
OneBlood says each donor will not only help save three lives, but with their new, FDA-approved COVID-19 antibody testing, which is incorporated in each donation, volunteers can find out if they have had coronavirus before, and possibly be able donate their plasma to help save those who are currently fighting the deadly virus.
“With no cure or vaccine that can prevent the coronavirus, doctors are turning to convalescent plasma to help treat their patients. By identifying more people with the antibody, it will only further ensure that a ready supply of convalescent plasma is ready at all times,” Susan Forbes, OneBlood’s senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations.
Governor DeSantis says antibody testing is the next step Florida will take since the number of positive, active COVID-19 test results continue to go down even as more testing has been made available.
We now have dozens of testing sites in Manatee and Sarasota counties – including the UTC Mall where you don’t need a prescription, an appointment or symptoms, and at The Robert L. Taylor Community Complex where all ages can be tested.
“We have a less invasive testing procedure now. The Q-tip is about as long as a regular Q-tips. It goes inside the nasal passage. It's free, and so we’re just hoping that the community will come out and participate in this,” Wayne Balcom, the Testing Site Incident Commander, said.
Now, the Florida-based blood center, OneBlood, is the newest organization joining the state in offering more ways to get a better idea of where we stand in this pandemic.
“OneBlood is working closely with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees M.D., to provide de-identified data on the number of people testing positive and the geographical location. This information will help in decision making for reopening the economy,” Forbes said.
There are a handful of donation buses in both Sarasota and Manatee counties daily, so all you need to do to donate and get an antibody test is book an appointment on the OneBlood website. Once you’ve donated, you’ll get your results in 48 hours – and this is absolutely free!