ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (August 2020) - Asheville Outlets (ShopAshevilleOutlets.com) will host two blood donation drives in partnership with the American Red Cross on Fridays, August 7, and August 21, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The American Red Cross will test all blood, platelet, and plasma donations for the COVID-19 antibody. Red Cross donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or on the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Asheville Outlets blood drive will be held indoors next to Famous Footwear. The American Red Cross will establish additional safety guidelines to ensure all donors are socially distanced. Donors are asked to register in advance by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/give and entering the sponsor code Ashevilleoutlets. If you cannot donate blood, you can still help by making a monetary donation at RedCross.org/donate/donation.
“Asheville Outlets is pleased to again partner with the American Red Cross on this vital blood donation drive,” says Carla De Maria, Marketing Director of Asheville Outlets. “The antibody testing for donors is also an additional benefit,” she adds.
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 an individual developed symptoms. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.
It is safe to donate blood. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the coronavirus (COVID-19) does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives.
Red Cross Donation Safety Protocols
The top priority of the Red Cross is the safety of our donors, volunteers, employees and blood recipients, and we are committed to transparency with the American public during this evolving public health emergency. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus.
Donating blood products is essential to community health and eligible donors are strongly urged to donate blood, platelets, or AB Elite plasma. The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation – and who meet other eligibility requirements.
At each blood drive or donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols, including:
- Wearing gloves and changing them often.
- Wiping down donor-touched areas after every collection.
- Using sterile collection sets for every donation.
- Preparing the arm for donation with aseptic scrub.
- Conducting donor mini physicals to ensure donors are healthy and well on day of donation.
- Enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before entering and throughout the donation appointment.
- Temperature checks before presenting donors enter the blood drive or donation center.
- Following social distancing practices between donors including donor beds, as well as waiting and refreshment areas.
- During this time, blankets typically used by platelet, Power Red and AB Elite donors at Red Cross blood donation centers will be laundered after each use, which may limit the availability. Donors are encouraged to bring their own blankets, but electric blankets and heating pads are not permitted.
- Staff wearing basic face masks.
To ensure our staff are healthy each day, we have implemented standard staff health assessments prior to all blood drives. Finally, only eligible and healthy people can give blood. These mitigation measures will help ensure blood recipient safety, as well as staff and donor safety in reducing contact with those who may potentially have this respiratory infection.
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