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State reps. host blood drive participants to receive COVID-19 antibody test

9/8/2020, 3:15 p.m.
As the widespread blood shortage continues in a time of abundant need, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, State Senator Pat McGuire, ...

As the widespread blood shortage continues in a time of abundant need, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, State Senator Pat McGuire, State Representative John Connor, and State Representative Natalie Manley will host a blood drive Tuesday, Sept. 29.

"Blood donations have been dangerously low since the start of the pandemic but are more necessary than ever," Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said. "Donating blood is always crucial. Now, it's even more important, as it could save a life of someone battling COVID-19."

The blood drive, in partnership with Versiti, will be held Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Romeoville Village Hall, located at 1150 W. Romeo Road. All successful blood donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Researchers believe blood containing these antibodies can treat people with severe COVID-19 by boosting their ability to fight the virus. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, our communities have experienced a severe blood supply shortage," Manley (D-Joliet) said. "There is a critical need for blood donations from healthy individuals, and this event will be a safe opportunity to help strengthen our blood supply."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 17.2 million units of blood are used in transfusions every year for accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs, surgery patients and more. In March, the CDC issued a statement encouraging healthy people to donate blood at blood centers that adhere to public health and safety guidelines. "The crucial need for blood in normal times is multiplied by the pandemic. Please give," McGuire (D-Crest Hill) said.

To schedule a blood donation, people can visit donate.illinois.versiti.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/5588393https://donate.illinois.versiti.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/5588393, or contact Jody Racey at jracey@senatedem.ilga.gov