Thursday, October 22, 2020

Free COVID-19 Antibody Testing for the Public


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The North Collier Fire Commissioners are donating their salaries for the month of October in conjunction with community partners like the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Woodward Pires & Lombardo, The North Collier Professional Firefighters and Case Benefits Consultants in order to provide this service to the public for a second time.

In August, nearly 500 people were tested and 100 units of whole blood were collected including 36 units of plasma. “It was an incredible success for our Community Blood Bank and our community, and we are excited and grateful to be able to offer this testing again,” said North Collier Fire Deputy Chief Jorge Aguilera.

North Collier Fire Control & Rescue District is the only Fire Department in the State of Florida who has entered into a Public/Private Partnership to provide FREE Antibody Testing to the public. The success of the event held in August is what prompted Fire Officials and other community partners to take the steps necessary to offer this service again.

Researchers believe the antibody-rich blood plasma (convalescent plasma) from recovered COVID-19 patients is helpful in treating those currently infected with the virus by boosting the body’s ability to fight the virus. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for this treatment.

NCH Community Blood Center’s bloodmobile will be on-site to take blood donations as well as whole blood convalescent plasma from qualified candidates—see criteria below. NCH Community Blood Center has recently issued an urgent need for all RH negative blood and COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma.

EVENT DETAILS

WHEN: Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17 from 9 AM – 2 PM (or until tests run out)

WHERE: North Collier Fire Control & Rescue District Station 45 * 1885 Veterans Park Drive Naples, FL 34109

REGISTRATION: Prior registration is suggested. Visit www.NorthCollierFire.com and click on the Antibody Test Registration link on the home page.

WHOLE BLOOD CONVALESCENT PLASMA CANDIDATE PRE-QUALIFICATIONS:

Candidates will need to meet the following criteria to qualify for whole blood convalescent plasma donation:

  • Meet regular blood donor eligibility criteria
  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (either by a laboratory, antibody test, or clinical diagnosis)
  • Have been symptom-free for at least 14 days
  • Minimum age 16 (with parent consent)
  • Minimum weight: 110 pounds
  • Have not been diagnosed with HIV, Hepatitis B or C.

Antibody Test Results: Available within 10 minutes

Number of Available Test Kits: 500

Antibody Tests Administered By: North Collier Fire Rescue Personnel

 

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