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The American Red Cross announced Monday that it is now offering free COVID-19 antibody tests for anyone who donates blood.
Starting today, the organization will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies, according to a press release. Antibodies are a likely sign of having been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Donations will be sent to a laboratory where they will also undergo routine infectious disease testing. Results will be available within 7-10 days in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at RedCrossBlood.org.
The organization said a positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.
“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, in a statement. “If you are feeling healthy and well, please schedule an appointment to not only help save lives but also learn about your potential exposure to COVID-19.”
The Red Cross said blood drives and donation centers are following safety precautions in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including temperature checks and social distancing. In addition, donors and staff are required to wear a face covering.
The organization is asking donors to schedule an appointment by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
Those interested can schedule an appointment in Forsyth County at one of the following blood drives:
● 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, June 18, at the Chattahoochee River Club, 4110 River Club Drive;
● 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, June 18, at Keller Williams Realty, 540 Lake Center Pkwy.;
● 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, June 19, at the Chattahoochee River Club, 4110 River Club Drive;
● 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, June 29, at Browns Bridge Church, 3860 Browns Bridge Road;
● 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, at Browns Bridge Church, 3860 Browns Bridge Road;
● 2-7 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, at St. Brendan the Navigator Catholic Church, 4633 Shiloh Road.