Antibody testing for coronavirus will be available at the July 29th event
New Bern Fire-Rescue and the New Bern Police Department are joining forces with the American Red Cross to host a community blood drive on Wednesday, July 29th from 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Formerly known as the “Battle of the Badges,” this year the two departments have changed the theme due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on our community. In a spirit of unity across our city and around the globe, this life-saving mission to collect blood donations is being called “United Badges.”
The blood drive will be held at two locations simultaneously to facilitate proper social distancing. Donors can register to give the gift of life on July 29th at either the Knights of Columbus building at 1125 Pinetree Drive or the Elks Lodge at 1175 Pinetree Drive right next door. All blood donors are required to wear a mask.
Appointments can be made by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, then click on Donate Blood, then Make An Appointment, and enter your zip code. Local blood drives appear by day and date. You can also call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule an appointment or download the Blood Donor app and make an appointment from your smartphone. Donors can also save time before arriving at their donation appointment by using RapidPass, a four-step pre-donation health history questionnaire that takes about 10-15 minutes to complete online. That way you do not have to complete this paperwork when you get there. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass. Donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to give blood to avoid long lines and the congregating of waiting donors in close proximity.
The American Red Cross is offering antibody testing for COVID-19 at the United Badges blood drive. Donors who use the Blood Donor app to schedule their appointments will receive results through the app in approximately 7-10 days. The American Red Cross will not be able to share test results on-site. If you do not use the app, you can call 1-800-REDCROSS to find out your results.
“Blood supply is critical in an emergency. Our medical facilities rely on the community to give blood in order to save lives,” said Chief Bobby Boyd of New Bern Fire-Rescue. “This year, the blood drive is especially important knowing how coronavirus is affecting families across the globe. Although our COVID patients don’t need blood supply, let’s unite during this pandemic and do something good. Something positive. Let’s give the gift of life during the United Badges blood drive.”
Each blood donation can save up to three lives.
“This is a double bonus: a way to help people who need blood product and a way to find out if you have antibodies against the coronavirus,” said Chief Toussaint Summers. “We are inviting you to be lifesavers…to spend a few minutes in a chair and save lives alongside New Bern’s first responders.”
Join us on Wednesday, July 29th for the United Badges blood drive with the American Red Cross and City of New Bern. Make an appointment today and remember to wear a mask when you arrive for your appointment.
By Colleen Roberts, Public Information Officer for the City of New Bern