The COVID-19 antibody testing on your blood donation with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is a test looking for your body’s response to the infection.
When you are tested for COVID-19, the test checks for the presence of the coronavirus, said Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, Associate Medical Director of the community blood center.
The test performed on your donation looks for antibodies, which are developed by your immune system to fight the virus 1-3 weeks after you become sick, she said. The test shows if you previously were infected.
“When you are first symptomatic with COVID, your body probably hasn’t had time to develop antibodies, so the antibody testing will likely be negative,” Dr. Gomez Ngamsuntikul said.
If you have been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19, or if you cared for, lived with, or had close contact with anyone diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19, you should not donate blood for 28 days.
More info on our testing can be seen at SouthTexasBlood.org/Testing
If you have had COVID-19 and it has been 14 days since your last symptom, you may be able to donate convalescent plasma, which can help current COVID-19 patients. You can visit SouthTexasBlood.org/COVID19 or email COVID19@SouthTexasBlood.org to learn more.