Beginning today and for a limited time, the American Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. At the same time, there continues to be an urgent need for blood donations as hospitals resume surgeries and treatments that require blood products.
Antibody testing will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Donations will be tested using samples pulled at the time of donation and sent to a testing laboratory where they will also undergo routine infectious disease testing. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within 7-10 days in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. The test has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“As an organization dedicated to helping others, the Red Cross is pleased to provide more information about COVID-19 to our valued donors,” said Dr. Erin Goodhue, executive medical director of direct patient care with the Red Cross Biomedical Services. “If you are feeling healthy and well, please schedule an appointment to not only help saves lives but also learn about your potential exposure to COVID-19.”
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.
Donation appointments can be made by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Thanks to Amazon, all those who come to give June 1-30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.*
Blood drive safety precautions
To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities, June 15-30
6/23/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Community Reformed Church, 747 N 12th Street
7/2/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Community Reformed Church, 747 N 12th Street
7/7/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Congregational Church Christian Education Building, 700 N. Bluff Blvd.
7/14/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Reformed Church, 747 N 12th Street
7/10/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Pilot Grove Bank, 516 Main Street
7/16/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Union Presbyterian Church, 719 Avenue F
7/2/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Paul United Church of Christ, 2030 Plank Road
6/22/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Ivor Fowler Community Center, 710 Main Street (Hwy 404)
6/24/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Milledgeville Men’s Club, 204 Main Ave
7/17/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Lutheran Church, 301 South Clay Street
6/17/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Savanna Fire Department, 101 Main Street
7/1/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 214 N. W. Second Ave
7/9/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church South Campus Building, 302 N. State Street
6/25/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hooppole Community Center, 1404 Washington St.
7/8/2020: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St.
7/10/2020: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Kewanee First United Methodist Church, 108 East Central Blvd.
7/6/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. John’s Church, Route 17
6/16/2020: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Elk’s Lodge, 1279 Franklin Grove Rd
6/16/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Elk’s Lodge, 1279 Franklin Grove Rd
6/19/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dixon Home of Hope, 1637 Plock Road
7/13/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Dixon Hope Bible Fellowship, 732 Brinton Avenue
6/26/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Paw Paw Elementary School, 511 Chapman
6/23/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ellice Dinges Building, 202 South West Street
6/16/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., VFW Hall, 106 SW 3rd Ave.
6/22/2020: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Alexis Community Center, 204 W. Palmer Ave.
6/24/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Red Cross of Quad Cities, 1100 River Drive
7/18/2020: 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Morrison Super Wash, 705 W. Lincolnway
6/23/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Rock River Christian Center, 1800 Prophet Road
7/9/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Tampico United Methodist Church, 202 Lincoln Street, PO Box 336
About blood donation
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
This story originally appeared on the Voice of Muscatine. Read More local stories here.