The Rock River Valley Blood Center is continuing to test for COVID-19 antibodies on all successful blood donations.

COVID-19 antibody testing began in August 2020. Prior to November 2021, RRVBC testing could only detect antibodies from the virus, not the vaccine. Since that time, RRVBC began more comprehensive testing which identifies antibodies from both the virus and the vaccine. Testing positive for antibodies means an individual has detectable antibodies either from the virus, the vaccine, or both.

An antibody test determines if someone has developed an immunologic response due to either exposure to the virus or received a vaccine. It is not a diagnostic test and cannot be utilized to determine if an individual is currently infected.

“Seven to ten days after the donation results will be available in the donor portal. It will be either positive or negative. It won’t tell if your antibodies were from the virus or from the vaccine. It will just indicate whether or not you have antibodies,” said Heidi Ognibene, Chief Operating Officer at the Rock River Valley Blood Center. “Our area’s need for blood remains significant and it’s important for our donors to have this peace of mind.”

Locally, RRVBC needs to see 800 donors per week to supply blood to 13 hospitals in the region. Because blood has a short shelf-life, fresh donations must constantly be collected.

Individuals feeling healthy and well are encouraged to schedule a donation appointment at, on the myRRVBC app, or by calling 815-965-8751. Walk-ins are also welcome at one of the four RRVBC donor centers in Rockford, Belvidere, or Freeport, or at a mobile blood drive.

Organizations also are encouraged to call about hosting blood drives to help support the community need.