HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - On Friday, Governor Ralph Northam rolled up his sleeves to donate convalescent plasma.
"My wife and I had COVID many months ago, and I came in to donate plasma so my antibodies can help someone else recover," he said Friday in Richmond.
"Plasma is the liquid portion of blood; [it] kinda looks like orange juice, and we are hearing from hospitals it has potential to help beat this virus because patients are getting antibodies in their system," said Jonathan McNamara with the American Red Cross of Virginia.
McNamara says there is an urgent need for convalescent plasma right now due to increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
"As cases have risen particularly over the past two months, we have seen a 250% increase in demand for convalescent plasma," said McNamara.
Blood plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 could be key in the fight against the illness, according to the FDA. The plasma is filled with antibodies for the new coronavirus.
"It takes about an hour and a half to donate plasma, maybe a little longer," said McNamara.
The American Red Cross is also in need of blood, and when you donate, the bonus is that they will test your blood for the antibody as well, where in turn you can pay it forward to help those who are extremely ill.
"Our goal at the organization is to not have a second health care crisis and to give them the resources they need to treat patients, and that is where you come in," said McNamara.
To sign up to donate, click here.