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Cleveland-based Jewish organization hosts COVID-19 antibodies testing in Beachwood

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Posted at 3:13 PM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 06:26:14-04

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — About 100 people were tested at Lake Health Beachwood Medical Center Sunday to see if they have the antibodies that could prove crucial in fighting COVID-19. The medical center teamed up with Bikur Cholim, a local organization dedicated to serving Cleveland’s Jewish community, to make it happen.

“We got a number of requests from people from the community, saying that you know we had, we think we had COVID, we tested for COVID and we would love to give back, love to give back to the hospitals, let them put plasma in the hospitals and let's just be able to give back to everybody,” Dina Snitzer, Director of Operations for Bikur Cholim, said.

From there, the staff at Bikur Cholim formed a partnership with Lake Health, which is administering the tests for free, and the Mayo Clinic, which is testing the blood. Bikur Cholim did the marketing and outreach, which included posts at local synagogues and posts on social media.

“Took two minutes, they just took, you know, it's like going to the doctor having blood work done,” Samuel Feuer, who got tested at Sunday's testing, said. “Confirming that I actually did have antibodies will be a big relief.”

He was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in April.

“I had a fever for like 36 hours, I was fatigued for about a week. I lost my taste for like three to four weeks,” Feuer said.

If Feuer or any of the other people who were tested have antibodies, they will be called back to donate their plasma which will then be used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients.

“We will be testing about 100 patients today with this drive, and the yield could be 50-70% so, to the degree that we would produce plasma for 70 patients, that’s 70 patients that have the ability to beat COVID and get back on their feet,” Chris Truax, Chief Administrative Officer for Lake Health Beachwood Medical Center, said.

Lake Health administrators say testing results should be available in about a week. People who test positive for antibodies will then donate plasma through the Red Cross.

More information about Bikur Cholim’s testing initiatives can be found on their Facebook page and giveyourplasma.org.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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