ST. PAUL — COVID-19 survivors are encouraged to donate plasma because of the shortage brought on by the recent spike in cases. The American Red Cross has a shortage of convalescent plasma, which is collected from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

The plasma contains antibodies which might help patients that are currently fighting COVID-19. The Red Cross has collected and distributed 20,000 plasma products since April. Each survivors' donation can help up to three patients.

Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and received a verified diagnosis are encouraged to sign up to donate by completing the donor eligibility form on the Red Cross website. Individuals that do not feel well or suspect that they might be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.

Participants who donate blood, platelets or plasma within the window of August 1 to September 3 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card, courtesy of Amazon. Those who donate by August 31 are automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott's Berry Farm.

Donors should schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering. Donation appointments can be made by downloading the Blood Donor App, visiting the Red Cross website, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on an Alexa Echo device.

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Additional blood donation opportunities in the west central area from August 1 to 15 are listed below:

  • Olivia: August 3, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 302 S 10th St.
  • Willmar: August 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Kandiyohi County Health & Human Service; 2200 23rd St. NE
  • Fairfax: August 4, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Community Center, 300 S. Park St.

  • Renville: August 5, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Community Center, 221 N. Main St.

  • Litchfield: August 5, 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; St. Phillips Church, 821 E. 5th St.

  • Litchfield: August 6, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; St. Phillips Church, 821 E. 5th St.
  • Willmar: August 10, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Assembly of God Church, 3821 Abbott Drive
  • Kandiyohi: August 12, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Civic Center, 432 Atlantic Ave.
  • Willmar: August 13, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Willmar VFW Post 1639, 1108 Highway 12 E.

Two forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be at least 17, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. For more information about blood, platelet or plasma donation opportunities, visit the Red Cross website.