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Vitalant Billings offering COVID-19 antibody testing

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Posted at 5:52 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 19:52:08-04

Vitalant Blood Donation Center in Billings has been offering COVID-19 antibody testing since June 1 with blood donations, and officials say those tests can help fight the coronavirus.

Erin Baker, donor recruitment manager at Vitalant, said Tuesday that a positive or negative antibody result does not mean that you are immune to the virus, but it can indicate if you have had the virus in the past.

“Even if you have had the antibody, there is no proof that that causes an immunity to COVID. So, please make sure you are still following CDC recommendations for being out in public, six-foot distancing, wearing your mask when possible,” says Baker.

Baker says that if someone test positive for having the COVID-19 antibodies they may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus disease. Plasma can then be used to help sufferers of the virus recover. The treatment is still being investigated, but some tests have shown its possible effectiveness.

Baker says donors that have received the antibody test can expect their results to be available between 10 and 14 days.

For more information call Vitalant at (877) 258-4825 or visit https://www.vitalant.org/