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Red Cross testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies

Officials with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) and officials with both Genesis Health System and Unity-Point Health System are calling for blood donors to support the local blood supply. (MGN Image)
Officials with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) and officials with both Genesis Health System and Unity-Point Health System are calling for blood donors to support the local blood supply. (MGN Image)(KWQC)
Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 2:42 PM EDT
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For a limited time, the American Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies, to let donors know whether they have been exposed.

At the same time, the Red Cross says, "There continues to be an urgent need for blood donations as hospitals resume surgeries and treatments that require blood products."

Antibody testing will indicate whether the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they have developed symptoms, according to the Red Cross. Donations will be tested using samples pulled at the time of donation and sent to a 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

. The test has been authorized for emergency use by the

.

“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.”

The Red Cross says it's 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

, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Anyone who donates June 1-30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card via email.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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