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Red Cross begins testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies

All donors who give blood through June 30 will also be given a $5 Amazon gift card.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

CLEVELAND — As the American Red Cross makes an urgent call for blood donations to help prevent a summer shortage, the organization is now also testing all donors for COVID-19 antibodies.

This testing begins June 15 and will continue “for a limited time.”

“Antibody testing will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms,” Red Cross officials said in a press release. “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.”

The results will be ready within 7-10 days.

“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.”

Extra incentive to donate? All donors who give blood now through June 30 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card via e-mail.

If you’re ready to donate blood, appointments can be made by downloading the free Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

“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.”

Temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings are among the Red Cross safety precautions currently in place.

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