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.”
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.
- Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1677 Jamestown Road, James City County
- Time slots available: 6 p.m.
- Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, 1209 Hampton Highway, York County
- Time slots available: 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- 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
- 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
- Woodlands Conference Center, 119 Visitors Center Drive, Williamsburg
- Time slots available: 1:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Victory Family YMCA, 101 Long Green Blvd, York County
- Time slots available: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- $5 Amazon gift card
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