The American Red Cross continues to seek blood donations from those who are eligible to donate. And for a limited time, the donations are being tested for COVID-19 antibodies.

Leigh Barba, the Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia, says that this antibody testing will determine whether or not a donor has ever had the coronavirus. Results are available within around seven to ten days. Plasma donations are also sought to help those that do have the virus to recover faster.

The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose a current or suspected illness. Anyone who feels unwell for any reason is urged to postpone donation.

Those who donate blood any time between now and June 30th will be given a $5 Amazon gift card via email. Upcoming blood drives for the area are listed online at A drive will be held at the Rome chapter, 112 John Maddox Drive, on Tuesday, June 30th from 2 pm until 7 pm. Those who wish to donate should register in advance on the website or via phone at 1-800-RED CROSS. Drives are also slated for July 2nd, 20th and 30th.

The need for blood donations is urgent during this time of coronavirus, states Barba.

Each donor is asked to wear a mask or some sort of face covering when they go to donate. Precautions have been implemented to protect the health of all in attendance at Red Cross blood drives.