In a press release from the American Red Cross, they will begin (today, 6-15-2020) testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. In addition, the organization will also be testing all platelet and plasma donations, too.

The idea here is to provide insight to donors about whether or not their body has produced the COVID-19 antibodies. Just because your body has produced the antibodies, doesn't necessarily mean you contracted the virus, however. The testing for the antibodies will take place from a small sample gathered at the time of donation. The testing will be done alongside the normal infectious disease testing that donations go through.

The test results for COVID-19 antibodies will be available anywhere from 7-10 days after your donation and can be accessed through the donor portal or through the donor app. The testing for these antibodies has been authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration.

And, as always, the need for blood remains ever present in our communities all around the United States. The Red Cross is pleading with past donors to look into drives near them and come an give as soon as possible. Additionally, the organization is always looking for new, first-time healthy donors that are ready to roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life.

For a list of upcoming blood drives in Central Maine, just click here. There are several on the horizon that still have appointment times available. There are upcoming drives at the Augusta Civic Center, Belgrade Central School, Eastside Wellness Center and Maine General Medical Center. While walk-ins are always welcome, they encourage you to sign up for a donation time in advance.

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