Gift to support testing of blood, platelet, and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies
ROCHESTER, NY, Wednesday, July 8, 2020 — The American Red Cross is proud to announce that they have been awarded a $84,000 grant from the United Way of Greater Rochester and Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Community Crisis Fund in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The grant was awarded in support of the Red Cross in testing all blood, platelet, and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies.
“The American Red Cross is proud to be partners with both the United Way and the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and we’re honored to receive this Crisis Fund grant,” said James Love, Executive Director of the American Red Cross, Greater Rochester Chapter. “As a humanitarian organization, the Red Cross is committed to helping others in meaningful ways during this pandemic. Thanks to the support of partners like the United Way and Community Foundation, we will be testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies to provide donors insight into whether they may have been exposed to this coronavirus.”
“Supporting this critical and immediate need of the Red Cross is exactly why the Community Crisis Fund was established. We hope that many more individuals will now consider making blood, platelet and plasma donations because of the COVID antibody testing,” said Jennifer Leonard, president and CEO of Rochester Area Community Foundation.
“This is what a community response looks like – as critical organizations like Red Cross step up to help in the face of COVID-19,” said Jaime Saunders, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Rochester. “We are so grateful to the individuals and foundations for investing in the Community Crisis Fund which in turn is able to support this important effort by Red Cross to provide our community with COVID-19 information and testing right when we need it most.”
The American Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies to help provide our valued donors insight into whether they may have been exposed to this coronavirus. The antibody test 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. Red Cross donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within seven to ten days through our Red Cross Blood Donor App or on our donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
Healthy, eligible individuals can schedule an appointment to donate by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS. The Red Cross has experienced an increase in appointments as a result of antibody testing. If there is not an appointment immediately available in a given area, donations in the days and weeks ahead are still critically important to build a stable supply. The Red Cross expects to offer antibody testing for the next few months, and will evaluate if we are able to continue testing dependent on available funding and the evolving needs of the pandemic. Help the American Red Cross deliver its lifesaving mission nationwide during this public health emergency by donating at redcross.org.
To protect the health and safety of our staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well postpone donation. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. Individuals who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.