HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — On Tuesday, blood donors in Huntsville were given a chance to get free COVID antibody testing in exchange for the gift of life.
Crumbley-Blackwell & Associates, P.C. teamed up with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers to host the blood drive.
LifeSouth says blood donations in the U.S. are down by 30 percent.
The firm says they exceeded expectations with forty plus people giving blood. Those who did test positive for COVID-antibodies could qualify as a convalescent plasma donor.
"I would love to know that I have been and have antibodies, that would be really cool. But it's just good to know either way and getting that thrown in for free is just a bonus," Crumbley-Blackwell & Associates Managing Partner, says Russell Crumbley.
The firm says they plan to have future blood drives.
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers has partnered with Crumbley-Blackwell & Associates, P.C., to host a blood drive on Tuesday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The drive will be held at 2304 Memorial Parkway SW in Huntsville, Alabama.
LifeSouth said blood donations in the U.S. are down approximately 30% as of March 1. In order to mitigate the blood shortage caused by the lack of donations, the organization is encouraging the community to participate in this blood drive.
Additionally, each donor will receive a complimentary COVID-19 antibody test, performed by LifeSouth. The organization said the test will not indicate whether you currently have the virus, but will detect if you have developed antibodies to the virus.
Up to three lives can be saved by each pint of blood donated, LifeSouth said, and all blood donated through LifeSouth stays in the North Alabama area.
Appointments for the blood drive can be scheduled online through LifeSouth's website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a plethora of information on how to protect yourself and other from the coronavirus.
The virus can easily spread from person to person, so the CDC recommends you stay at least 6-feet apart from people not in your household. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breaths or talks, according to the CDC. Because of this, the CDC recommends you wear a cloth facemask when around others and in public.
Additionally, the CDC recommends that you frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Symptoms to look out for include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC.
Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the CDC.
If you suspect you have the coronavirus, you should seek out testing and self-quarantine.
Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the Alabama Department of Public Health.