The American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood to ensure a strong blood supply for patients as the U.S. braces for flu season while in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flu shot doesn’t affect blood donation eligibility
Medical experts are urging people to get the flu shot to avoid a flu epidemic on top of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Because blood can only be given by those who are feeling well, a severe flu season could create additional challenges to maintaining a sufficient blood supply for hospital patients in need.
Get the flu vaccine this year to help protect the nation from the virus but also to ensure that patients continue to have access to lifesaving blood products. There is no waiting period to give blood or platelets after receiving a flu shot as long as the donor is symptom-free and fever-free. There is no risk of transmitting the influenza virus after receiving a flu vaccination.
For those that have the flu, it is important to wait until they no longer exhibit flu symptoms, have recovered completely and feel well before attempting to donate. Donors must feel healthy and well on the day of donation.
Stay healthy this flu season and make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
In thanks for making time to donate, the Red Cross will send those who come to give Oct. 15-Nov. 11 a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. Plus, those who come to give in October are automatically entered for a chance to win a $1,000 Amazon.com Gift Card. Five lucky people will win. (Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Unite.)
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Oct. 22-Nov. 15:
Blue Earth
Mankato
10/23/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church, 110 N. 4th St.
10/29/2020: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., National Guard Training & Community Center, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
10/29/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Hosanna Lutheran Church, 105 Hosanna Drive
10/30/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., YMCA, 1401 S. Riverfront Drive
11/5/2020: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E Main St.
11/6/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St. John’s the Baptist Catholic Church, 632 S. Broad St.
11/9/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St.
11/11/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Christ the King Lutheran Church, 222 Pfau St.
11/11/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Crossroads Lutheran Campus Ministry, 331 Dillon Ave.
11/12/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St.
11/13/2020: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St.
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Brown
New Ulm
10/30/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 201 N. State St.
Sleepy Eye
11/13/2020: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Event Center, 110 12th Ave. NE
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Carver
Waconia
11/4/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Legion Waconia, 233 Olive St. S.
Watertown
11/4/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 513 Madison St. SE
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Dodge
Dodge Center
11/4/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Dodge Center, 401 Highway St. W.
Kasson
11/10/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 901 Parkview Ave. NW
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Faribault
Blue Earth
10/23/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 214 S. Holland St.
11/9/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hope United Methodist Church, 12080 380th Ave.
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Fillmore
Harmony
11/6/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Harmony Area Blood Drive, 225 3rd Ave. SW
Preston
10/22/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., F&M Community Bank, 100 Saint Anthony St. N.
Rushford
11/13/2020: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., St. Joseph Church, 105 N. Mill St.
Spring Valley
11/12/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Center, 200 S. Broadway
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Freeborn
Albert Lea
10/29/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., North Bridge Mall, 2510 Bridge Ave.
10/30/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Albert Lea Chamber of Commerce, 2510 Bridge St.
11/5/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bridge Community Church, 2016 Bridge Ave.
11/11/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Shoe Sensation, 2339 Leland Drive
11/11/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Lutheran Church Albert Lea, 301 W. Clark St.
11/13/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., National Guard Armory, 410 Prospect Ave
Alden
10/28/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Alden Conger High School, 215 N. Broadway
Emmons
11/10/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Emmons Lutheran Church, 490 Pearl St.
Glenville
11/2/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Round Prairie Lutheran Church, 12881 757th Ave.
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Goodhue
Cannon Falls
10/27/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Pius V Catholic Church-Cannon Falls, 410 W. Colville
11/4/2020: 8:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., VFW, 218 4th St. N.
Pine Island
11/11/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cornerstone Baptist Church, 857 Rolling View Lane SE
Red Wing
10/29/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., AmericInn, 1819 Old W. Main St.
10/30/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., AmericInn, 1819 Old W. Main St.
11/5/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 320 West Ave.
Welch
11/5/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 24036 County 7 Blvd.
11/6/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 24036 County 7 Blvd.
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Le Sueur
Le Sueur
11/9/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., First Lutheran Church Le Sueur, 116 Inner Drive
11/13/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Ridgeview Le Sueur Medical Center, 621 S. 4th St.
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Martin
Fairmont
11/6/2020: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church, 300 S. Grant St.
Sherburn
11/9/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Assembly of God Regional Worship Center, 2 Crossroad Drive
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Mower
Adams
11/5/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Legion Adams, 321 W. Main St.
Austin
10/26/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Day 1, 1200 NW 13th Ave.
10/27/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Day 2, 1200 NW 13th Ave.
10/28/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., S.t John’s Lutheran Day 3, 1200 NW 13th Ave.
11/3/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Our Saviors Lutheran Church, 1600 W. Oakland Ave.
11/4/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Crane Community Chapel, 1111 9th St.
11/5/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Austin Utilities, 1908 14th St. NE
11/10/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Riverland Community College, 1600 NW 8th Ave.
11/12/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., The Spam Museum, 101 3rd Ave. NE
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Nicollet
North Mankato
10/22/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Belgrade Ave United Methodist Church, 325 Sherman St.
Saint Peter
10/22/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., St. Peter Community Center, 600 S. 5th St.
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Rice
Faribault
10/23/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sterling Pharmacy, 430 2nd Ave. NW
10/30/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., First English Lutheran Church, 204 2nd St. NW
11/3/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., District One Hospital, 200 State Ave.
11/4/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Faribault Fire Department, 122 2nd St. NW
11/6/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour, 141 6th St. NW
11/13/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 530 4th St. NW
Northfield
10/26/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Community Resource Bank, 1605 Heritage Drive
10/27/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Community Resource Bank, 1605 Heritage Drive
10/28/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 500 3rd St. W.
10/28/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., FiftyNorth, 1651 Jefferson Parkway
10/29/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 500 3rd St. W.
11/2/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Culver’s Northfield, 960 Highway 3 S.
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Scott
Jordan
11/11/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Ridges at Sand Creek, 21775 Ridges Drive
Prior Lake
11/12/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 5634 Luther Drive SE
Savage
10/30/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Prior Lake High School, 7575 150th St. W.
Shakopee
10/22/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Family Video, 1260 4th Ave. E.
10/27/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Minnesota Correctional Facility, 1010 W. 6th Ave.
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Sibley
Gaylord
10/23/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Lutheran Church, 911 8th St.
Henderson
10/26/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Altona Colony, 35227 290th St.
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Steele
Ellendale
11/2/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., United Methodist Church, 200 6th St.
Medford
11/3/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Medford School, 750 2nd Ave. SE
Owatonna
10/26/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 609 S. Lincoln Ave.
10/30/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Timberdale Trace, 334 Cedardale Drive SE
11/4/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Owatonna VFW, 135 Oakdale St.
11/5/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Owatonna VFW, 135 Oakdale St.
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Wabasha
Lake City
11/12/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., United Methodist Church, 213 N. Oak St.
11/13/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., United Methodist Church, 213 N. Oak St.
Plainview
11/10/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Legion, Third Street SW
Wabasha
10/27/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., VFW, 138 Second St.
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Watonwan
Madelia
10/27/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Salem Lutheran Church, 109 3rd St. SE
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Winona
Lewiston
10/28/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Senior Center, 75 Rice St.
11/4/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Senior Center, 75 Rice St.
Rollingstone
10/26/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Holy Trinity Community Center, 111 Broadway St.
Winona
10/26/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., WKM Professional Building, 902 E. 2nd St.
10/27/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., WKM Professional Building, 902 E. 2nd St.
10/29/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Winona Mason Lodge #18, 926 W. 5th
11/2/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Post #9 Winona, 302 E. Sarnia
11/4/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Express Suites River Port Inn, 900 Bruski Drive
11/12/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Winona Mall, 1213 Gilmore Ave.