(WTAJ) — Last week, the American Red Cross started testing their blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies.
If you go and donate blood right now, it will automatically be added in. You don’t have to do anything else or ask for it specifically.
Even if you did not get tested for the virus, it’s possible you were exposed to the virus and your body produced antibodies or you were symptomatic.
After donating, you can see your antibody test results through your portal online or through the app in seven to 10 days.
And if you’d like, you can donate plasma that could be use to help patients fighting the virus.
“I’ve heard just personally that from our donors ‘I’m not sure if I had it in the past but I already do donate blood.’ This is a good opportunity to learn a little bit more, and maybe provide that hope, and help to really understand the virus a little bit more too,” Lisa Landis, Communications Director of the American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region, said.
The Red Cross is also running low on blood and plasma donations after many community events and blood drives were cancelled due to the Coronavirus.
Landis said the shelf-life for blood is 42 days, and it’s even shorter for plasma.
There are safety steps in place if you are interested in donating: temperature checks, socially distanced stations, and proper sanitizing.
They’re also encouraging donors to make appointments.
“The appointments that we’re asking everyone to make where we typically could’ve received walk-in donors because of social distancing and safety guidelines. We’re really limiting the number of folks that are indoors at any one drive at one time,” Landis said.
There are donations centers open around our region. You can go online to redcross.org and make an appointment if interested.