Primary Menu

Coronavirus Information Center

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Around Tampa Bay, doors are beginning to reopen.  Tonight the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino reopens at 7.  Visitors will be given a face mask if they don’t have one and thermal devices will check their temperature as they enter.  Many who’ve had COVID-19 don’t even realize they had it.  But now there’s a way to find out. And it’s something we should all do anyway… donate blood. I say “should.” Yours truly hasn’t given blood in years. A free COVID-19 antibody test is a really good reason. And OneBlood says they will now run a check from blood donors.

The test lets you know if your body has produced antibodies to the virus. You may never have even had symptoms. Or maybe you got sick a while back and are now curious if it was from COVID-19. This test will tell you… when you give blood. They do ask that if you ARE showing symptoms to stay home. They obviously don’t want their workers to get sick. The test will NOT tell you if you currently have COVID-19. It’ll only look for the antibody that you would have if you already had it. If your test reveals the antibody, it’ll give you some piece of mind. Plus you could save the life of someone else who does have it.

According to OneBlood’s donation site locator, you can give blood in Tampa, St. Pete, Brandon, Clearwater, New Port Richey, Riverview, Dunedin, Largo, Palm Harbor, or Pinellas Park. They say the test is authorized by the FDA. It takes 2 to 4 days to get the results back. One thing to note is you can’t just show up to a donation site. You need to make an appointment.

Some Florida businesses are reopening as the number of COVID-19 cases begin to go down. Many have limited hours and capacity so it’s a good idea to call ahead.