Vitalant becomes first blood bank to test blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Vitalant is the first blood bank to test all blood donations for antibodies of the coronavirus.

The results are then provided to anyone who was tested.

Blood donations are in high demand due to the virus. A donor can give convalescent plasma every week and donate blood every eight weeks.

“One thing we do want to make sure that our donors are very aware of this is not a way to find out if you have the coronavirus currently,” said Brooke Way, the Marketing Specialist for Vitalant in Rapid City. “So if you are sick, do not come and donate blood because you are supposed to be feeling very healthy when you donate. We don’t want to put staff at risk, we don’t want to put other donors or patients at risk.”

Although a positive antibody result does not mean that someone is immune to COVID-19, it does mean that they may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma in the future.