MISSOULA, Mont. - Montana Red Cross is seeking COVID-19 survivors to donate blood as the state faces a convalescent plasma shortage. Survivors may have antibodies in their plasma that could help patients currently battling the virus. 
The Red Cross is testing all blood donations for these antibodies. Donors can test positive for these antibodies to the coronavirus, even if they haven't shown symptoms. If tested positive, this plasma can then be used to help current patients fight off the virus through a blood transfusion. 
Diane Wright, executive director of Montana Red Cross, said they especially need these donations right now. 

"When we have inclement weather like we are having right now across Montana, sometimes our blood supply is impacted," Wright said. "So, the blood for need... need for blood is constant. We are asking anybody that is healthy and feeling up for it, to come out to one of our donation centers across the state and donate blood."

Donors will be able to view their antibody test results within one to two weeks after donating on the Red Cross Blood Donor app or through the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm that a donor is currently infected or has immunity. 
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Feb. 17-28:
2/26/2021: 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Operation Blood Drive at Gallatin Valley Mall, 2825 W. Main 
2/23/2021: Noon - 5:30 p.m., Elks Lodge # 1554, 27 E. Center St.
2/25/2021: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Marion Community Hall, 180 Gopher Lane
2/17/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Missoula Community Blood Drive at the American Red Cross Donor Center, 2401 N. Reserve St. Ste. 6-7
2/19/2021: Noon - 5 p.m., Southgate Mall, 2901 Brooks
2/22/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Grace United Methodist Church, 1756 South 10th St. W.
2/25/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Holy Spirit Parish, 130 South 6th St. E.
2/26/2021: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., University of Montana The James E Todd Center, The University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive
2/26/2021: Noon – 6 p.m., United Methodist Church at Stevensville LDS Church 100 Middle Burnt Fork Road
2/24/2021: Noon - 5:30 p.m., United Methodist Church, 200 No. Cedar
To set up an appointment, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. 

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