INDIANAPOLIS — The Red Cross will be providing COVID-19 antibody testing on all blood, platelet and plasma donations.
Red Cross donations have always been tested for certain infectious diseases and viruses, and now COVID-19 is part of that list.
The antibody testing will help the Red Cross work with state and national health organizations better understand the spread of COVID-19. The testing will also help within the local community to learn more about their current health.
But, there is a blood shortage right now and the Red Cross needs donors to move forward with testing.
"The blood supply has been on a bit of a roller coaster since the beginning of the pandemic," Rodney Wilson, a Red Cross communication manager, said.
The cancellation of blood drives caused the blood supply to drop quickly. Initially, the lack of elective surgeries helped keep things balanced, but now that they're being added back in the need for blood is rapidly growing.
In the last few weeks, the Red Cross has seen an increase in blood demand of about 30%, which is why they're encouraging people to donate but only if they are feeling well enough to do so.
"Only individuals that are healthy and feeling well should come to give," Wilson said. "If you suspect you have covid-19 that's something you should go to your doctor for… not the red cross."
Within seven to ten days donors will have access to their antibody results online.