Red Cross blood donors have new opportunity to help patients fighting COVID-19

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From the American Red Cross

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (Sept. 24, 2020) — Plasma from whole blood donations made through the American Red Cross that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment to give blood now to help ensure coronavirus patients and others who depend on transfusions have needed blood products this fall.

In April, the Red Cross began collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma from previously diagnosed individuals, who could only give at one of approximately 170 Red Cross blood donation centers across the country. Convalescent plasma contains COVID-19 antibodies that may help the most critical patients actively fighting this virus. Now, whole blood donations made at any Red Cross blood drive or blood donation center could be helpful in this effort.

“Donations that come back positive for COVID-19 antibodies now undergo secondary testing to confirm antibody results, and that enables the Red Cross to then potentially use the plasma from those donations for COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Erin Goodhue, executive medical director of direct patient care with the Red Cross Biomedical Services. “With approximately 2% of the U.S. population testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies, every donation is important to ensure patients with coronavirus have access to every treatment option available to them.”

The Red Cross encourages eligible individuals to schedule an appointment, download the free Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

In thanks, the Red Cross is offering a $1,000 Amazon.com Gift Card to five lucky winners who come to give in October. Terms and conditions apply; visit rcblood.org/unite. Additionally, those who come to give by the end of September will receive a free haircut coupon by email to participating Sport Clips Haircuts locations. More information is available at RedCrossBlood.org/Sport-Clips.

About antibody testing

Antibody testing may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual experienced COVID-19 symptoms. Donations are tested using samples pulled at the time of donation and sent to a testing laboratory where they will also undergo routine infectious disease testing.

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.

Important COVID-19 information for donors

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities, Sept. 23-Oct. 15:

Broome

Binghamton

9/23/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., First Church of the Nazarene, 1282 Chenango St

9/29/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Christ Episcopal Church, 10 Henry Street

9/30/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Chenango Bridge UMC, 704 River Rd

10/14/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church, 44 Main Street

Endicott

10/6/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Our Lady of Good Counsel, 701 W Main Street

10/8/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Church of the Holy Family, 3600 Phyliss Street

Johnson City

9/25/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive

10/1/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Traditions at the Glen, Hotel & Spa, 4101 Watson Blvd

10/2/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive

10/15/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Traditions at the Glen, Hotel & Spa, 4101 Watson Blvd

Windsor

9/24/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Windsor United Methodist Church, 56 Chapel Street

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Chenango

New Berlin

9/25/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 51 South Main Street

Norwich

9/23/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Guernsey Memorial Library, 3 Court Street

9/25/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Broad Street Methodist Church, 74 North Broad Street

Sherburne

10/9/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Post 876, 15 South Main Street

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Tioga

Newark Valley

10/5/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Newark Valley Fire Department, 7151 State Route 38

Owego

10/15/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Moose Lodge No 1595, 3 Goodrich Rd

Waverly

9/23/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waverly United Methodist Church, 158 Chemung Street

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Tompkins

Ithaca

9/23/2020: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Tompkins County Library, 101 E Green Street

9/24/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

9/25/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

9/26/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

9/30/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

9/30/2020: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tompkins County Library, 101 E Green Street

10/1/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

10/2/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

10/6/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

10/8/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

10/9/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

10/10/2020: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints, 114 Burleigh Dr

10/12/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Tompkins County Library, 101 E Green Street

Lansing

10/10/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., All Saints Catholic Church, 347 Ridge Road

Trumansburg

9/26/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 69 East Main Street

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Susquehanna

Hallstead

10/2/2020: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hallstead Great Bend Community, 722, New York Ave

Montrose

10/13/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Bridgewater Montrose, 10142 PA 167

About blood donation

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-

profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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