Blood center offering free antibody testing with blood donations

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is now offering free antibody testing when you make a blood donation at one of its locations.

The test can determine if you've carried COVID-19, and if the antibodies are still in your system.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center started offering the free service to entice blood donors as supply got low.

Now, they hope the service will encourage people with positive results to donate plasma for local COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

It takes about seven days for results to come back, which people who donate can look for on their donor profile online.

"We're at a limited capacity right now, so it's really important," said Theresa Pina, Vice President of Operations at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. "We're not requiring an appointment, but it does help reduce wait times. It also prevents overcrowding at any of our donation locations. We're also requiring face masks, not only for our employees but also of our donors."

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