Houchin Community Blood Bank will now screen all blood donations for the Zika virus.
The ZIKV blood test will be performed along with the 13 other tests each donor's blood sample undergoes every time they donate.
Because this test on the blood sample is still in a clinical study stage, donors will receive an information sheet about the study, and now both 16- and 17-year-old donors must bring in a signed parental consent form to be able to donate. This is required because in California minors under 18 years old cannot consent to participate in clinical trials.
Prior to Thursday, 17-year-olds were able to donate without a parent's consent.
"It is going to be difficult to get information about this new requirement to our 17 year old donors", said Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development. "The last thing we want is for 17 year olds to come in to donate only to be turned away for lack of this newly required parental consent form".