Red Cross to Test Blood Donations for Antibodies

Beginning last week 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.

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.

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 save 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. All those who come to give June 1-30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.*

Host a blood drive: Red Cross urgently needs air-conditioned locations to host blood drives through the summer. Visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

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. 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.

All blood types are needed. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of ID 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.

This week’s blood drives…

Bridgeton: 6/29: 2–7 p.m., Leaders Save Lives Blood Drive at Seabrook Fire & Rescue, 90 Foster Rd.

Greenwich: 6/26: 1:30–6:30 p.m., Greenwich Baptist Church, 928 Ye Greate St.

Millville: 6/25: 10 a.m.–3 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 201 N. Second St.

Vineland: 6/25: 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Battle of the Cities Vineland vs. Millville and Bridgeton Blood Drive at The John F. Scarpa Technical Education Center of Cumberland County, 3400 College Drive.

View other upcoming local blood donation opportunities by entering your zip code at RedCrossBlood.org.

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