All blood donors to receive free COVID-19 antibody testing at PNC Arena blood drive

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Blood donors will receive free COVID-19 antibody testing at a community drive set to take place on Thursday at PNC Arena, according to a press release from The Blood Connection.

The blood drive, which will be held at PNC Arena from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is being operated as a partnership between The Blood Connection (TBC), UNC REX, and WakeMed Health & Hospitals.

The drive will be the same as the one held at PNC Arena back in March that brought in more than 1,200 donors. That blood drive was the largest in TBC history, according to the release.

Those who donated back in March will be eligible to donate again on Thursday and will also receive free COVID-19 antibody testing with their donations.

The test will provide donors with a positive or negative result and will be included in the normal blood panel testing that is performed for all donations collected by TBC.

As the release states, “TBC wants to ensure that all donors are aware that this is not a diagnostic test for COVID-19 infection. The FDA and the CDC have both said that a positive antibody test result does not prove the individual has immunity to the virus and that research of the antibodies is still being conducted.”

Thursday’s blood drive will “prioritize social distancing to ensure the health and wellness of all donors and staff involved” and there will be “wellness screenings prior to…donation[s] and the organization is taking extra precautionary measures to ensure donation sites are clean places to donate blood.”

According to the TBC release, the following special precautions will be taken during the drive to limit exposure and encourage social distancing:

Donors will be asked to wait in their cars to eliminate the need for people to gather in the same area before their donation.
Donors will be contacted via call or text when TBC is ready to start the donation process.
All TBC staff will be wearing masks. Donors are encouraged to wear masks; however, they will not be provided.
Donor chairs will be spaced as far apart as possible.
TBC will be limiting the number of people on a mobile or inside the arena.
Donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to control social distancing. Make an appointment by visiting this website or by calling 800-392-6551.

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