By Jessica Mathews /

Several blood drives are scheduled at various locations throughout Livingston County this month.

In honor of Black History Month, the American Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors, and especially those who have recovered from COVID-19 to give blood. Donors are asked to give blood, platelets or plasma to help patients in need.

COVID-19 survivors are said to be especially needed to address a convalescent plasma shortage, as these individuals may have antibodies in their plasma that could help patients currently battling the virus. 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.

The Red Cross is also testing donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The tests may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center is said to follow the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.

Information about all of the upcoming opportunities to give blood in Livingston County is available in the attached press release.