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If you donate blood, the Red Cross will now test you for coronavirus antibodies

Western New Yorkers can now help save lives while also finding out if they've been exposed to the coronavirus.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Blood donation collection, hand of donor and needle for give blood to bag

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's a two-for-one deal.

Western New Yorkers can now help save lives while also finding out if they've been exposed to the coronavirus.

The Red Cross announced Monday they'll be testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for coronavirus antibodies. Within seven to 10 days of a donation, donors will be able to see, using an app or the Red Cross' online portal, if they tested positive or negative.

The Red Cross is also taking multiple precautions to protect donors from the virus while they donate, including requiring masks, social distancing and temperature checks. You can read more about those precautions here.

“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. 

There continues to be an urgent need for blood due to recent demand. The Red Cross is also able to offer, until June 30, a $5 Amazon Gift Card for donating as well.

“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," added Goodhue.  

Donation appointments can be made 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. 

For more on upcoming Red Cross testing sites, see below.

The test the Red Cross uses for antibodies is authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Antibody Testing: What you need to know

Antibody testing normally requires a blood draw, unlike diagnostic testing which is the nose swab. Antibody testing will only tell you if you've previously been exposed, not if you are currently infected. 

If you think you might have COVID-19 right now, you should get the nose swab diagnostic test. 2 On Your Side has a list of where you can get tested:

Some locations may require an appointment and/or doctor's note. BUFFALO, N.Y. - There are several locations in WNY to receive a COVID-19 test. Some locations may require an appointment and or doctor's note. If there is no location near you, please contact your primary care provider or your local county health department.

But, if you previously were exposed to the virus, or believe you were, the antibody test can tell you if your body developed an immune response. 

A positive antibody test doesn't necessarily mean you have immunity from the virus; the Centers for Disease Control say it's not known yet if antibodies for coronavirus mean immunity, and if so, for how long it would last. 

Can I donate?

Here's what required to be a donor:

  • Any blood type is accepted
  • Be over 17 years old (16 with parental consent in some states, high school students and other people under 18 have to meet certain height and weight requirements)
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Be generally in good health

To donate you'll need:

  • A donor card or drivers license, or two other forms of identification
  • A mask to wear during your donation
  • To register for an appointment

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Upcoming Testing in WNY: June 15 through 30

Allegany

Fillmore

  • 6/24/2020: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department, 24 South Genesee Street

Wellsville

  • 6/25/2020: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Wellsville Fire Department, 40 S Main Street

_______________

Cattaraugus

Allegany

  • 6/18/2020: 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., American Legion Post 892, 4350 Route 417 West

Gowanda

  • 6/24/2020: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., American Legion Post 409, 100 Legion Drive

Olean

  • 6/19/2020: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Believer's Chapel, 2000 Constitution Ave

_______________

Chautauqua

Brocton

  • 6/24/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Tri-Church Brocton, 35 Main St.

Dewittville

  • 6/25/2020: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Camp Mission Meadows, 5201 NY430

Dunkirk

  • 6/15/2020: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Blessed Mary Angela Roman Catholic Parish, 324 Townsend Street
  • 6/26/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Dunkirk First Baptist Church, 876 Central Avenue

Jamestown

  • 6/18/2020: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Jamestown Chapter, 325 E 4th St
  • 6/25/2020: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Jamestown Chapter, 325 E 4th St

Lakewood

  • 6/26/2020: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Chautauqua Mall, 318 E Fairmount Ave.

Mayville

  • 6/25/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Mayville VFW Post 8647, 10 Memorial Drive

Portland

  • 6/16/2020: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Portland Fire Department, 6481 W Main Rd

Sheridan

  • 6/24/2020: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Sheridan Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6390, 2556 Route 20

Silver Creek

  • 6/25/2020: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., First United Church, 35 Park Place

_______________

Erie

Amherst

  • 6/17/2020: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Leo the Great, 885 Sweet Home Road
  • 6/24/2020: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Leo the Great, 885 Sweet Home Road

Blasdell

  • 6/30/2020: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Neighborhood Health Center, 4233 Lake Ave.

Buffalo

  • 6/16/2020: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Marian Professional Center, 515 Abbott Rd.
  • 6/17/2020: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., WNY Chapter, 786 Delaware Ave
  • 6/26/2020: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., WNY Chapter, 786 Delaware Ave
  • 6/29/2020: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., K-TECHnologies, 4090 Jeffrey Blvd.

Depew

  • 6/23/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Centerpointe Community Church, 56 Burlington Ave

Elma

  • 6/18/2020: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church, 1230 Bowen Road

Getzville

  • 6/30/2020: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., St Pius X Roman Catholic Church Father Weber Center, 1700 N French Rd

Grand Island

  • 6/22/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Grand Island Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Road

Hamburg

  • 6/16/2020: 2 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Hamburg United Methodist Church, 116 Union St

Kenmore

  • 6/19/2020: 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Ellwood Fire Department, 1000 Englewood Ave.

Lancaster

  • 6/19/2020: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Lancaster Elks Lodge, 33 Legion Parkway

Orchard Park

  • 6/16/2020: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Orchard Park American Legion Post 567 William Bud Davis Memorial Center, 3740 N Buffalo Rd.
  • 6/23/2020: 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., First Baptist Church of Orchard Park, 5933 Big Tree Rd
  • 6/29/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., St Bernadette’s Roman Catholic Church, 5930 S Abbott Rd
  • 6/29/2020: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Nativity of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church, 26 Thorn Ave

Sardinia

  • 6/17/2020: 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Sardinia Fire Hall, 12719 W. Schutt Road

Springville

  • 6/17/2020: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Concord Senior Center, 40 Commerce Drive

Swormville

  • 6/22/2020: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 6919 Transit Rd

Tonawanda

  • 6/20/2020: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Church of the Nativity, 1530 Colvin Boulevard

Williamsville

  • 6/27/2020: 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Williamsville United Methodist Church, 5681 Main St
  • 6/30/2020: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church, 8445 Greiner Rd

_______________

Genesee

Batavia

  • 6/24/2020: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., City Church, 15 Center St

Bergen

  • 6/27/2020: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Bergen Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 38 S Lake Ave

Darien Center

  • 6/26/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Darien Town Hall, 10569 Alleghany Rd

Le Roy

  • 6/18/2020: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., American Legion, 53 West Main Street

_______________

Niagara

Lewiston

  • 6/25/2020: 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Lewiston Fire Co No 1, 145 N 6th St

Lockport

  • 6/23/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., The Dale Association Incorporated, 33 Ontario St.

Middleport

  • 6/15/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Middleport Fire Hall, 28 Main St

Niagara Falls

  • 6/20/2020: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church, 736 Cayuga Drive

North Tonawanda:

  • 6/19/2020: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Gratwick Hose Fire Co., 110 Ward Rd
  • 6/25/2020: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Nash Road Free Methodist Church, 958 Nash Rd

Ransomville: 

  • 6/16/2020: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Ransomville Fire Co., 2525 Youngstown Lockport Rd

Sanborn: 

  • 6/25/2020: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Pekin Fire Company, 3024 Upper Mountain Rd.

_______________

Orleans

  • Kendall: 6/30/2020: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kendall Town Hall, 1873 Kendall Rd
  • Medina: 6/16/2020: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Sacred Heart Club, 189 N Gravel Rd

_______________

Wyoming

  • Perry: 6/22/2020: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 35 Covington St

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