The American Red Cross needs people of all races and ethnicities to give blood to help ensure a blood supply as diverse as the patients who depend on it.
With special COVID-19 precautions in place, the Red Cross has four donation drives planned for September in Tooele County: The Erda Utah Stake Center at 323 East Erda Way on Sept. 17 from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; the Grantsville West Stake Center on Sept. 26 at 115 E. Cherry Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the Tooele City Library on Sept. 18 at 128 West Vine Street from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and at Tooele High School on Sept. 28 at 301 West Vine Street from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Red Cross advises donors to download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information.
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states or 16 with parental consent where allowed by state law, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements, according to the Red Cross.
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies.
The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors.
Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.
Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions — including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff — have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.
Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
All blood types are needed to ensure that the right blood product is available at the right time for all patients.