Blood donors to receive free COVID-19 antibody test during upcoming Tidelands Health blood drives

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Blood donors at several upcoming blood drives hosted by Tidelands Health will get a bonus with their donation: a free COVID-19 antibody test.

The American Red Cross is providing the antibody test, which determines whether a person has had COVID-19, as an additional health service to donors. The testing can provide insight into whether donors may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The free antibody testing will be available to donors at several upcoming blood drives organized by Tidelands Health, in partnership with the American Red Cross:

  • Wednesday, July 1, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Waccamaw Medical Park South, 4367 Riverwood Drive in Murrells Inlet, across from Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital.
  • Friday, July 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Waccamaw Medical Park South, 4367 Riverwood Drive in Murrells Inlet, across from Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital.
  • Monday, July 13, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Tidelands HealthPoint Center for Health and Fitness, 12965 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island.
  • Tuesday, July 14, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Waccamaw Medical Park South, 4367 Riverwood Drive in Murrells Inlet, across from Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital.

“These blood drives offer a wonderful opportunity for individuals to help save a life with their donation while receiving important information about their past exposure to COVID-19 thanks to the free antibody test,” Adam Mattox, laboratory director at Tidelands Health said. “There has been a lot of interest in antibody testing, and Tidelands Health is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to offer this screening to donors at our upcoming blood drives.”

The free antibody test screens for antibodies in your blood, which are formed when fighting an infection such as COVID-19. The test does not indicate if a person is currently infected with COVID-19.

Some individuals who have COVID-19 never develop symptoms, so the antibody test can help determine if an individual has unknowingly had the virus.

Those wishing to know whether they currently have COVID-19 should be tested at a free Tidelands Health testing clinic or schedule an appointment with their health care provider. The antibody test should not be used as a current diagnosis.

Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment to donate blood by going to redcrossblood.org. Appointments will take priority, but walk-ins are welcome.

Blood donors must be healthy, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Be sure to bring a valid ID. Individuals who are feeling sick should postpone donating blood until they feel healthy and are symptom-free.

Blood drive organizers continue to take extra steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including taking temperatures as donors arrive, providing additional hand sanitizer for donors, practicing social distancing when possible and frequently disinfecting surfaces.

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