There is an urgent need for blood donations, according to the American Red Cross, following an increased demand by hospitals after the state loosened restrictions on surgical procedures.

In making its appeal for blood donors, the Red Cross is assuring the community that it is now testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. “The antibody test used by the Red Cross is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms,” officials said.

“Antibody testing will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Donations will be tested using samples pulled at the time of donation and sent to a testing laboratory where they will also undergo routine infectious disease testing. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity,” the Red Cross said.

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within 7 to 10 days in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. The test has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“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 is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.

Here are upcoming donation sites for La Porte County:

La Porte

6/19/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., LaPorte County Annex, 809 State Street

6/22/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., LaPorte Civic Auditoruim, 1001 Ridge St.

6/26/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., LaPorte Civic Auditoruim, 1001 Ridge St.

6/29/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Laporte Hospital, 1007 W. Lincolnway

Michigan City

6/17/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Michigan City Fire Training Center, 2510 E. Michigan Blvd.

 

La Crosse

6/27/2020: 7 a.m. – 12 p.m., Center of LaCrosse, 100 S. Washington

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