The Franklin County Family YMCA at Smith Mountain Lake is once again hosting a blood drive for the community July 9. This event will also give donors the opportunity to see if they have COVID-19 antibodies.
The COVID-19 antibody test can show whether a blood donor has been exposed to the virus in the past. The test, authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, indicates if a donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms, according to the American Red Cross website.
The upcoming blood drive will be the first time the lake’s YMCA has offered the test for donors. The facility has held four blood drives so far this year to assist the American Red Cross in finding donors. The number of blood drives nationwide reduced sharply following the emergence of COVID-19 and the call for social distancing.
Andrea Fansler, branch director for the lake YMCA, said the drives have collected 160 units of blood that has the potential of impacting nearly 500 lives.
Fansler said donors participating in the July 9 blood drive will be notified 7 to 10 days following the donation with the results of the COVID-19 antibody test.
Anyone interested in signing up for the blood drive can call the Franklin County Family YMCA at 721-9622.
Fansler said appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure each donor will have a spot available to give blood.