TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — The American Red Cross is in need of blood and now, as a service to their donors, they’ll be testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies.

Giving blood, saving lives, and now learning about possible exposure to coronavirus.

“It’s something I can easily do and it’s not that much of a hassle,” said Mary Ciambrone, a donor.

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The Red Cross also really wants to provide important information to their donors about their health.

“There’s a lot of people that definitely need that blood,” said Justin Drew, another donor.

For a limited time, the Red Cross will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies, free of charge.

“Oh I think it’s great, I did have a five-day exposure to it at a family member’s house,” Ciambrone said. “So I’ve been wondering if I had it and was asymptomatic,”

This test could answer that question as coronavirus antibodies can indicate if a person has fought off the virus, regardless of whether or not they developed symptoms.

“And we’re doing it as a community service. You know, knowledge is power,” said Regina Boothe Bratton with the American Red Cross.

Results from the FDA approved test usually take about seven days.

“Once we provide you with those results, we really want you to go to the doctor to discuss those results,” Bratton said.

While the Red Cross doesn’t benefit from these antibody test, if an individual finds out they have them, they could choose to donate their convalescent plasma.

“Convalescent plasma, as you know, is helping to treat COVID-19 patients around the county,” Bratton said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Sean Streicher

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