The pandemic didn't stop blood donors from coming out in large numbers. In all, 2,141 units were collected, shattering last year's record of 1,830.
New this year, the ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive took place at five locations:
The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Foglia YMCA, 1025 N. Old McHenry Road, Lake Zurich
Georgios Banquets, 8800 W. 159th Street, Orland Park
Hyatt Regency, 1800 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg
Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster
Blood donation is an "essential service" at both the federal and state level as it is lifesaving and is needed by hospitals for emergencies that occur, even during a pandemic. All blood types are needed.
Appointments can also be made by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App by visiting redcrossblood.org (enter sponsor code: ABC7Chicago) or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment prior to the drive or for more information.
A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health, may be eligible to donate blood. For general information about giving blood, eligibility requirements etc., please go to: https://www.redcrossblood.org/.
DONATING DURING A PANDEMIC
The Red Cross is doing everything we can to keep people safe and healthy during this pandemic. Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety. To ensure the health of staff and donors, we have implemented additional safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic. Donors and staff get their temperatures checked prior to entering a blood drive donation center. Social distancing is required and markers are placed to help donors stay 6 feet apart. Beds are being places 6 feet or more apart to ensure safety as well. There is hand sanitizer available throughout the donation process and there is continuous cleaning of the blood donation site equipment, beds, etc. Appointments are needed and preferred.
In addition to social distancing, masks are required. You will receive a disposable mask if do not have one upon entrance.
All blood donated is tested for COVID-19 antibodies and donors will learn if their blood is positive or negative for COVID-19 antibodies. A positive antibody test indicates potential exposure to the virus. It is not a diagnosis. It does not confirm infection or immunity.
What is the Antibody Test?
An antibody test screens for antibodies in your blood, which are formed when fighting an infection, like COVID-19. An antibody test assesses whether your immune system has responded to the infection, not if the virus is currently present. The COVID-19 antibody test is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and may indicate if the donor's immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Donors who test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may have the unique opportunity to help patients fighting the disease. Learn more about convalescent plasma donations.
Please note the Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, including COVID-19. If you feel unwell for any reason, please postpone your donation. Individuals who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should not present to donate until they are symptom free for 14 days and feeling well and healthy.
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