ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – Despite the COVID-19 pandemic blood donations are still critically needed across the United States.
The Red Cross hosts blood drives periodically to meet blood needs. They encourage everyone to give blood, especially those with O type blood. March is Red Cross month, to acknowledge this they will be giving a Red Cross t-shirt to anyone who donates blood between March 15 and 26.
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. To make an appointment visit, RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation dates in the Central and Western Upper Peninsula are:
- 3/16/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N Lincoln
- 3/30/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N Lincoln
- 3/31/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N Lincoln
- 4/1/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Learning Resource Center, 2001 N. Lincoln Rd.
- 4/6/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N Lincoln
- 3/10/2021: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Grace Methodist/Bethany Lutheran Church, 130 O’Dill Rd
- 3/17/2021: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Memorial Building, 213 S Marquette St
- 3/18/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Memorial Building, 213 S Marquette St
- 4/8/2021: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gogebic Community College, E4946 Jackson Rd
- 3/31/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Ewen-Trout Creek Schools, 14312 Ewen Airport Road
In addition to taking donations, they are also testing blood for COVID-19 antibodies. Antibodies can be detected if the body has produced antibodies to the COVID-19 virus whether symptoms were present or not, it can also detect antibodies from vaccination.
Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. 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. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. 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.