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Red Cross now testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies; urgent need for blood donors to help prevent summer shortage

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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. 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 through June 30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.

With no known end date in this fight again coronavirus, the Red Cross urgently needs air-conditioned locations to host blood drives throughout the summer. To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

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.

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