The American Red Cross announces that five donors have each been awarded a $1,000 e-gift card in thanks for making time to donate during April:
- Blood donor Paul Dow of Tennessee
- Power Red donor John McKeron of Pennsylvania
- Blood donor Lisa Buzzard of West Virginia
- Blood donor Henry Cuevas of Mississippi
- Blood donor Andrea Beene of Idaho
As a special thank-you, those who came to give April 1-30, 2021, were automatically entered for a chance to win one of five $1,000 e-gift cards to a merchant of their choice. The Red Cross appreciates the support of all who rolled up a sleeve to help save lives in April.
Health insights for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies through July 24. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
Donors can expect to receive antibody test and sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety
The Red Cross has updated its pandemic safety protocols in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fully vaccinated individuals, including staff and donors, no longer need to wear masks or socially distance unless requested by the blood drive host or if state or local guidance requires face masks. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks and socially distance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.