The American Red Cross will host a blood drive this week at the University of Connecticut Storrs campus bookstore between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 5.
This month, all donors are eligible to receive a $5 Amazon e-gift card. Donors can walk in or book an appointment slot on the Red Cross website.
Additionally, every blood donation will undergo a test for COVID-19 antibodies capable of fighting off the novel coronavirus infection.
“Test results may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms,” according to the Red Cross website. After a donation, results become available on the volunteer’s blood donor account within one to two weeks.
As the COVID-19 pandemic surged earlier this year, the Red Cross and hospitals declared blood shortages as reserves dwindled across the country, driven by increased need and a declining number of drives as community donation sites shut their doors and people remained home to prevent infection.
“Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses and traumatic injuries,” the Red Cross said on their website.
In order to give blood, the Red Cross requires that all donors are 17 years old or older and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors should bring an ID and know all medications they have recently taken. The Red Cross suggests donors drink lots of water, eat an iron-rich and low-fat meal and feel well-rested prior to their donation.