Antibody Testing Drive Draws Hundreds

Its doors usually admit students and wedding guests but today, Oholei Torah welcomed hundreds who came to participate in a plasma testing drive.

By reporter

The doors of Oholei Torah are used to being open. Thousands of students and simcha-goers usually fill its halls day and night. But with the outbreak of the coronavirus, the school has lain eerily quiet.

On Tuesday, however, the building hummed with life-giving activity as nearly 1,000 Crown Heights community members passed through its doors to take part in a plasma testing drive.

The drive was organized by Crown Medical PC, The Gedaliah Society, Hatzalah of Crown Heights, Kamin Health and Lakewood Bikur Cholim, in partnership with the Mayo Clinic.

The Covid-19 IGG antibody testing took place alongside many similar drives done in Jewish communities across the country, and was held in loving memory of Rabbi Don Yoel Levy and R’ Avrohom Aharon Rubashkin, both of whom succumbed to the virus.

“It felt strange to be in Oholei Torah, being socially distant and donating blood,” a participant in the drive told “We’re supposed to be dancing at weddings here! On the other hand, it felt empowering to be able to give at this difficult time.”

People who have recovered from Covid-19 typically have varying levels of antibodies in their circulatory system and their blood can potentially be used in treatment of those sick with the virus.

Medical professionals have stressed that the presence of antibodies in one’s blood does not imply immunity from the disease, and all social distancing guidelines must still be followed.

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