Red Cross awarded grant for antibody testing
The American Red Cross recently received a grant from the United Way of Greater Rochester and Greater Rochester Community Foundation’s Community Crisis Fund in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The $84,000 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 Greater Rochester Community Foundation, and we’re honored to receive this Crisis Fund grant,” said James Love, executive director of the 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.”
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 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal.
“Supporting this critical and immediate need of the Red Cross is exactly why the Community Crisis Fund was established,” said Jennifer Leonard, RACF president and CEO. “We hope that many more individuals will now consider making blood, platelet and plasma donations because of the COVID antibody testing.”
“This is what a community response looks like as critical organizations like the Red Cross step up to help in the face of COVID-19,” said Jaime Saunders, president and 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 the Red Cross to provide our community with COVID-19 information and testing right when we need it most.”
Healthy, eligible individuals can schedule an appointment to donate by using the Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling (800) 733-2767. The Red Cross has experienced an increase in appointments as a result of antibody testing. If there is not an appointment available in a given area, donations in the days and weeks ahead are important to build a stable supply.