Police Officer David Tilley donates plasma after contracting the coronavirus. Photo courtesy of Carter BloodCare.

Have you ever wondered if that non-flu flu you had in January was actually a case of COVID-19? Now you can find out by giving blood to Carter BloodCare. When you donate blood, they’ll do an antibody test for free.

Carter has instituted numerous new protocols to keep donors safe, including temperature checks, frequent sanitizing of hands and surfaces, and masks all around. You’ll make the donation in person, of course, but you’ll receive your results online in about two weeks. They’ll also check your blood pressure and iron levels on the spot and share your blood type and cholesterol levels online.

When I gave blood a couple of weeks ago, the good folks at Carter said there’s an urgent need for blood donations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Community blood drives are being canceled, and businesses and universities which normally host drives are shut down. Every blood donation can save up to three lives, they told me.

Carter BloodCare is also working with recovered patients of COVID-19 to collect convalescent plasma with coronavirus antibodies. This plasma may be used to help new victims fight the virus, and many recipients are healing faster and recovering stronger.

You can find a community blood drive on the Carter website here or schedule a visit to one of their donor centers listed here.