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Free Coronavirus Antibody Testing Offered In West Ridge Thursday To Look For Potential Plasma Donors

"If you have recovered from COVID-19, this is your opportunity to help those who are still suffering," Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) said.

The COVID-19 Testing Center at Innovative Express Care in Lincoln Park on Monday, April 27, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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WEST RIDGE — A coronavirus antibody testing drive in West Ridge is trying to help those suffering from the virus recover more quickly.

The testing drive will take place 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave. The test is free, even if it is not covered by insurance, but attendees must register in advance.

Those who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their blood plasma that can attack the virus. Injecting the antibody-rich plasma into a patient with COVID-19 could help the person recover from the deadly virus.

The practice is called convalescent plasma treatment, and nationwide clinical studies show it as a promising way to fight serious cases of coronavirus. Uptown’s Weiss Memorial Hospital is part of the nationwide study, and has already seen success in using the treatment.

The West Ridge testing drive will help determine who in the neighborhood has the coronavirus antibodies. Those who have the antibodies will be encouraged to donate their plasma.

“If you have recovered from COVID-19, this is your opportunity to help those who are still suffering,” Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) said in a note to constituents announcing the plasma drive.

West Ridge had the biggest known coronavirus cluster in the state at the beginning of the local outbreak. The curve in the neighborhood has since flattened, officials said in late April, as other areas of the city have eclipsed West Ridge’s case count.

The antibody testing is not available to those currently suffering from symptoms of COVID-19. To qualify for the test, one must have either been tested for coronavirus in the last 10 days or had symptoms of the virus at least 10 days prior to the test.

The test will be conducted via a drive-through system, and walk-ups will be turned away. Only those aged 18 and older are eligible for the antibody test.

Antibody test results could take five days to see results, according to the 50th Ward office.

For more information on the testing drive, click here.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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