Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Red Cross needs blood donations, convalescent plasma donors to help those battling COVID. Here are local drives

People who have recovered from the coronavirus can donate their plasma to others recovering from the virus. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Pixabay)
People who have recovered from the coronavirus can donate their plasma to others recovering from the virus. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Pixabay)

Not sure if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19? Why not donate blood and find out?

Anyone who donates blood to the American Red Cross can find out if they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

The American Red Cross has been testing blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies since June 15 and the organization plans to continue doing so through September.

“It’s not a diagnosis,” said Michelle Ellis Young, Coastal Virginia regional executive director for the American Red Cross. “It’s just to indicate if you’ve been pre-exposed to the virus.”

Young said people who donate blood get their antibody test results within 7-10 days via the Blood Donor app or the Red Cross website. Schedule an appointment here.

But the blood supply can change daily, even hourly and right now there is a need to stabilize the blood supply for sickle cell patients, she added.

“We can have a stable shelf supply and by the end of the day or the next day it could very well change,” she said. “A lot of people make appointments when they hear the call ‘we need blood’ but we always need blood.”

The Red Cross also needs convalescent plasma donations.

The plasma comes from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and contains essential nutrients to help support the immune system.

“We need those who have recovered from COVID to consider becoming convalescent plasma donors to help those battling COVID,” Young said.

People interested in participating in a blood drive can schedule an appointment online or call 800-RED-CROSS. Register for your time slot here and enter your zip code.

Here’s a list of local blood drives. In addition to antibody testing, some blood drives offer participants prizes such as a $5 Amazon gift card or a chance to win tickets to CedarPoint or Knott’s Berry Farm.

Aug. 18

  • Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1677 Jamestown Road, James City County
  • Time slots available: 6 p.m.

Aug 20

  • Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, 1209 Hampton Highway, York County
  • Time slots available: 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Aug 22

  • Grafton Baptist-Harris Grove, 1301 Old York Hampton Road, York County
  • Time slots available: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Chance for family of four to go to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm

Aug 24

  • Crossroads Community Church, 1420 Lakeside Drive, York County
  • Time slots available: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Chance for family of four to go to Cedar Point or Knots Berry Farm

Aug 27

Aug. 29

  • Victory Family YMCA, 101 Long Green Blvd, York County
  • Time slots available: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • $5 Amazon gift card
The positive number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the Historic Triangle as of Monday, Aug. 17. (WYDaily/ Screenshot courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health)
The positive number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the Historic Triangle as of Monday, Aug. 17. (WYDaily/ Screenshot courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health)

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Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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