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Coronavirus Information

Blood donation is vital. Versiti is keeping our donors safe and offering antibody testing.

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There is no substitute for the lifesaving gift of blood. Please consider a blood donation today.

We thank you for your continued support, grace, and understanding to our donor services teams!

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

Versiti is pleased to announce the SARS CoV-2 antibody test will be performed on all donations beginning mid-to-late August as part of our standard testing. We will be conducting this test as we continue to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with the help of our donors.

The antibody test will be performed on all successful donations at every Versiti blood center and blood drive. This test will be done automatically on tubes that are collected as part of the donation, in addition to FDA mandated infectious disease testing for all blood donations Versiti already performs.

The test will inform donors if they have antibodies reflective of a prior COVID-19 infection and is not to inform donors if they currently have COVID-19.  For more information see FDA.gov and Donor FAQs.  Donors with these antibodies may be eligible to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP), a special type of donation used to treat sick patients fighting COVID.

Ensuring Donor Safety

  • Donor Health & Registration:
    • All donor-facing staff will have their temperature taken prior to beginning their work day
    • Donors temperatures will be taken at registration to ensure they are not elevated prior to entering donation areas
    • Donors will be asked if they've come in contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19
    • Donors will be asked to wash hands prior to screening
    • Donors will be asked if they are currently experiencing coughing or shortness of breath
    • If any of the above is true, donors will be asked to self-defer
  • Social Distancing:
    • We encourage all donors to make an appointment to lessen the amount of people waiting at our donor centers
    • To comply with government regulations, all sponsors and donors must wear personal masks at donor centers and mobile drives
    • Ensuring six feet of space between chairs in waiting areas and cafe
    • Ensuring six feet of space between donation chairs and/or separation with medical screens
    • If appointment registration congestion occurs, we will ask for your cell phone number and text when your appointment is ready
  • Cleaning:
    • We clean all equipment, beds, and other surfaces after each donor finishes their donation
    • Changing gloves frequently and between donors is part of our normal practice
    • We will maintain sanitized pen bins, so donors are only using clean pens at sign-in

FAQs

Coronavirus Disease FAQs

COVID-19 Antibody Testing FAQs

  • Do I have to be a blood donor in order to get the COVID-19 antibody test?

    Yes. The test is only performed when a complete blood donation is given, whether you are a new or returning Versiti blood donor. It will be performed for all types of blood donations, including: whole blood, platelet, double red cell, and plasma.

  • Do I need to have a successful donation in order to receive my results?

    Yes. You must have a successful donation in order to receive COVID-19 antibody results. The testing is performed on tubes collected during a successful donation. Therefore, if you are unable to complete your donation, the COVID-19 antibody test, as well as all standard infectious disease testing, will not be performed or provided.

  • How long will Versiti be providing COVID-19 antibody testing?

    Versiti will be providing COVID-19 antibody testing on all completed donations for the foreseeable future.

  • If I donated before August 17th, can my donation be tested for COVID-19 antibodies?

    No. However, Versiti will be testing for the COVID-19 antibody for the foreseeable future, so we encourage you to book your next appointment and your donation will be tested at that time.

  • If I test positive for the antibodies does it mean I am immune to COVID-19?

    No. A positive result indicates you may have had previous exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 and your body has developed antibodies to the virus. According to both the FDA and the CDC, it is not yet known whether the antibodies will protect someone from a future infection. False positive results are also possible. See: “What does a positive result mean?”

  • If someone is not eligible to give blood, will they still receive a test?

    No. An individual will need to meet all eligibility guidelines and complete a successful donation to receive a test.

  • Should I be concerned if I have COVID-19 antibodies?

    Antibodies against COVID-19 are not harmful to you and they are not harmful to a patient. In fact, if you have antibodies against COVID-19 you may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma. Convalescent plasma is a special type of donation used specifically to treat ill patients fighting COVID-19.

  • What does a NEGATIVE result mean?

    A negative result most likely means you have not been exposed to COVID-19. It is also possible you have been exposed but have not developed an immune response, or if you have made antibodies, they are present at a low level below the threshold of detection for the test. It is also possible the test did not recognize antibodies you made. See the Roche and Ortho Fact Sheets.

  • What does a POSITIVE result mean?

    A reactive (positive) result means antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 were found in your blood.  It is likely you previously had COVID-19 and developed an antibody response to the virus. This antibody is not harmful to you and it is not harmful if transfused to a patient. At this time there are not enough data, or studies, to determine whether a positive antibody result implies you will be protected from reinfection with COVID-19 or how long any protection might last. It is also possible that your reactive result may be a false positive due to cross-reactivity from antibodies to another prior infectious agent or other causes.

    We perform a second antibody test on a different platform before reporting your result to reduce the chance of a false positive. A positive result on both tests means your blood contains antibodies found in a special blood product called COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) that is used to treat sick patients with COVID-19. You may be eligible to donate CCP. Visit for more information.

    It is very important you continue to follow the recommendations of public health authorities and any workplace or community guidelines to protect yourself and others from the virus. See the Roche and Ortho Fact Sheets. 

  • What does it mean if my result is LETTER?

    You will receive a letter by mail explaining your results in detail.

  • What does it mean if my result is UNAVAILABLE?

    Technical issues prevented your donation from being tested. You will not receive a test result for this donation. We apologize for the inconvenience. You will be tested on your next eligible donation.

  • What if a donor does not want to have their donation tested for COVID-19 antibodies?

    All donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies as part of our standard infectious disease testing processes. Individual donors will not have the ability to opt-out of this testing.

  • What is the COVID-19 Antibody Test?

    An antibody test for SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, screens for antibodies in your blood. Antibodies are formed when fighting an infection. The test determines whether your immune system has responded to the virus, not if the virus is currently present. COVID-19 antibody testing will be performed in addition to the standard infectious disease testing all blood donations receive. More information on the antibody test Versiti is using can be found here

    Please note: Versiti is not testing donors to diagnose illness. If you feel unwell for any reason, please postpone your donation. If you believe you may have COVID-19 or have been exposed in the last 14 days you should not donate. Contact your healthcare provider for advice.

  • What is the difference between a diagnostic test and an antibody screening test?

    A diagnostic test is used to determine if you are currently infected with the virus. If you are feeling ill or have had recent close contact less than 14 days ago with someone confirmed with COVID-19, a diagnostic test may be recommended by your healthcare provider or public health authorities. Versiti is not performing a diagnostic test for COVID-19.

    An antibody screening test is used to determine if someone has been exposed to a virus in the past and has developed an immune response. Antibodies are formed when fighting infections like COVID-19. In the case of COVID-19, people with antibodies can make a special blood donation called convalescent plasma that can be used to help treat patients fighting the virus. 

  • What test is Versiti using to screen for antibodies to COVID-19?

    Versiti is using the FDA-authorized Roche cobas® Elecsys Anti-SARS CoV-2 immunoassay. Reactive (Positive) results are confirmed with a second test, the Ortho VITROS® Anti-SARS CoV-2 Total. The result of this second test also helps us determine if you may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma.

  • Will anyone else receive notification of my results?

    Versiti will notify local, state, and public health agencies as required by law. 

  • Will every donation be tested every time?

    Yes. Every successful donation for each donor will be tested each time the donor donates, regardless of donation type.

  • Will I receive my results after I donate?

    Yes. Your results will be available through your online donor account, although please be aware it may take up to 3 weeks for your results to be available. Donors with positive antibody test results will also receive mailed results. Results for donors with negative results will only be available through the online donor account.

    You will need to be sure to provide your email during registration so you can activate your account post-donation. If you already have an account, you can login with your username and password. Test results will not be reported via telephone or email.

  • Will I receive the results of other infectious disease tests through my online donor account as well?

    No. Only the COVID-19 antibody test will be available. For other standard tests we will continue our standard process of direct notification of donors with positive or nonstandard results.

  • Will the donor be charged for this test?

    No. The antibody test is being performed free of charge as part of the standard infectious disease testing for all successful blood donations.

Letter from Chief Medical Officer, Thomas Abshire, MD

 

Schedule an Appointment to Donate Blood

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Versiti Blood Center of Illinois

Blood centers are open, however our Elgin location is closed due to staff availability.

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Versiti Blood Center of Indiana

Our blood centers are still open! Shelter in place directives do not include blood donation.

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Versiti Blood Center of Michigan

Our blood centers are still open! Shelter in place directives do not include blood donation.

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Versiti Blood Center of Ohio

Blood drives are still running! Find one near you.

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Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin

Our blood centers are still open! Shelter in place directives do not include blood donation.

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Versiti is collecting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to help treat others diagnosed with the virus. 

Find out about COVID-19 plasma donation

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