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

Blood donations will include antibody test

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Beginning Monday, the American Red Cross will be testing all blood, platelet, and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies.

According to the Red Cross, there continues to be an urgent need for blood as hospitals commence surgeries and other procedures.

Samples will be sent to a lab to be tested for the antibodies and other infectious diseases. Donors will know within seven to ten days if their immune system has produced antibodies in response to the virus.

“You know, I think a lot of people would like to know if they’ve encountered the virus-- especially if they were asymptomatic because that will let them know if they’ve built up antibodies that could potentially protect them in the future, but more importantly they can provide those antibodies to someone who is fighting for their life right now," said Eastern NC American Red Cross Executive Director James Jarvis.

The antibody test provides insight into whether donors have been possibly exposed to the coronavirus, however, a positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The test simply serves to screen whether or not your immune system has responded to the infection, not if the virus is currently present.

“We have been leading this effort with the Food and Drug Administration to collect convalescent plasma from documented COVID patients who have fully recovered to subsequently provide that plasma with COVID antibodies to the most seriously ill COVID patients who are hospitalized in the hopes of helping them jump start their recovery. So this was a natural progression from that. This will help us identify additional COVID-19 plasma donors but it will help the community know if they’ve been exposed to the virus," said Jarvis.

Red Cross officials confirm the testing is only for a limited time. Donation appointments can be made by downloading the Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa device. Anyone who comes to give blood from June 1-30 will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Brunswick County

6/18/2020: 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., Brunswick County Government Center, 25 Referendum Drive NE

6/24/2020: 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m., Holden Beach Chapel, 107 Rothschild Ave

6/22/2020: 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Shallotte Presbyterian Church, 5070 MH Rourk Dr

6/29/2020: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Dosher Hospital, 924 Howe Street

Columbus County

6/24/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., CarrollWoods RV Park, 95 Dot Lane

New Hanover County

6/16/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 7:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/17/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 7:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/18/2020: 10:45 a.m. - 6:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/19/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/20/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/23/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 7:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/24/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 7:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/25/2020: 10:45 a.m. - 6:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/26/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/27/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

6/27/2020: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Midtown YMCA, 709 George Anderson Blvd

6/30/2020: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Scotts Hill Baptist Church, 185 Scotts Hill Loop Rd

6/30/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 7:15 p.m., Wilmington Blood Donation Center, 1102 South 16th Street

Pender County

6/15/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Topsail Presbyterian Church, 16249 US Hwy 17

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