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.

Blood is needed every day to treat patients with a variety of urgent and routine medical care. The Red Cross supports patients at nearly 3,000 hospitals nationwide and 40 hospitals in Central Ohio.

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. Those who give with the Red Cross in Central Ohio can also receive a buy one get one free entry coupon to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

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:

Athens

  • 6/17/2020: 10 a.m. — 3 p.m., Athens County Chapter, 100 May Ave.
  • 6/18/2020: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Richland United Methodist Church, 60 Pomeroy Rd
  • 6/23/2020: 10 a.m. — 3 p.m., Athens County Chapter, 100 May Ave.
  • 6/30/2020: 10 a.m. — 3 p.m., Athens County Chapter, 100 May Ave.
  • 6/30/2020: 1 p.m. — 7 p.m., The Dairy Barn, 8000 Dairy Lane

Nelsonville

  • 6/24/2020: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Stuart Opera House, 52 Public Square

Hocking County

Logan

  • 6/21/2020: 8 a.m. — 1 p.m., Ebenezer Heritage Center, 7094 Twp Rd. 234
  • 6/30/2020: 11 a.m. — 5 p.m., St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 258 E. Hunter St.
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