Coronavirus News: Recovered New Rochelle COVID-19 patients donating plasma for treatment

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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NEW ROCHELLE, New York (WABC) -- Some of the first residents in the Tri-State Area infected with coronavirus are now stepping up to be the first to help treat others.

Dozens of members of the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue have signed up to donate plasma as part of an experimental COVID-19 treatment.

The screenings took place in a mobile facility parked outside of the temple.

A vial of blood was drawn from participants who have previously tested positive for the virus, but have been symptom-free for two weeks. A nasal swab was also taken to confirm they are negative.

Montefiore Health System is developing an experimental treatment using convalescent plasma.

"The idea is you develop beautiful antibodies after you recover," infectious disease specialist Dr. Johanna Daily said. "That's how a vaccine works. You recover, you develop antibodies and that's why you get protected."

Those screened in New Rochelle will be called to donate plasma based on their level of antibodies.

"We have an opportunity to change the treatment and hopefully save thousands of lives," says Tamar Weinberg, who tested positive and had previously been quarantined.

Anyone interested in participating can CLICK HERE to fill out a survey and see if you're eligible.

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