LifeSouth Testing All Donors For COVID-19 Antibodies As It Faces Critical Blood Need

May 22, 2020

Testing for COVID-19 antibodies is being expanded to everyone who gives blood at a LifeSouth Community Blood Center or bloodmobile.

The FDA-approved antibody test is different than a diagnostic test in that it doesn’t determine if a person has COVID-19.

LifeSouth decided to expand the tests after starting with people known to have recovered from COVID-19 who donated plasma. Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients has been transfused to critically ill patients in local hospitals, with early evidence indicating plasma with the antibodies may help with recovery.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

The blood bank has been experiencing a critical need for all blood types and is now urging people to consider donating.

Its bloodmobiles will be at the following locations in the coming weeks:

  • May 23: Hagan Ace Hardware in Hilliard, 9 a.m. - 11:45 p.m.; Parks and Recreation Office in Yulee, 12 - 5 p.m.; Mr. Chubby’s Wings on Chaffee Road, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • May 24: Walmart on Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • May 25: Publix at Reedy Branch Commons, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • May 26: Walmart on Collins Road, 12 - 7 p.m.; Lowe’s on Oldfield Crossing Dr., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • May 27: Walmart at 11900 Atlantic Blvd., 12 - 7 p.m.; Publix at Windsor Commons, 3 - 7 p.m.
  • May 28: Thompson Ace Hardware on Old St. Augustine Road, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • May 29: Walmart in Yulee, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • May 30: Camri Green Apartments on Losco Road, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.; PetSmart on Wells Road in Orange Park, 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; PetSmart on San Jose Boulevard, 2:30 - 6:30 p.m.
  • May 31: Lowe’s on Phlips Highway, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Best Buy on Southside Blvd., 1:45 - 6 p.m.; Dollar Tree on Atlantic Blvd., 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.

The bloodbank’s Northeast Florida donor center is located at 7840 Baymeadows Way in Jacksonville.

LifeSouth is enforcing physical distance between donors and has implemented heightened sanitation protocols.

To qualify to give blood, donors must be at least 17 (or 16 with parental permission), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also needed. For additional information, call LifeSouth at 888-795-2707 or visit www.lifesouth.org.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.