Later this week, three organizations will provide metro Atlanta residents with opportunities to both get tested for COVID-19 and, if eligible, donate convalescent blood plasma to hospitals that need it in the fight against the virus.

The Fight Is In Us, a campaign to increase convalescent plasma donations from coronavirus survivors in metro area and around the country; LifeSouth Blood Bank, a Gainesville, Florida-based nonprofit community blood bank serving Georgia; and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), a Los Angeles-based healthcare nonprofit, are partnering on the free event.

At two metro-area locations, residents can get tested for COVID-19, and individuals who have contracted the virus but recovered from it can donate convalescent blood plasma, if eligible.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website, as of Jan. 12, 45,177 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalized, with 7,799 in ICU beds. Dec. 17, the state went over the 13,000 mark in hospital inpatient beds in use for the first time this year, meaning some hospitals across the state, including metro Atlanta’s Northside ones, are running out of convalescent blood plasma.

The two free events will also include mammogram screenings provided by Alpha Kappa Alpha and Assured Imaging and HIV testing offered by Empowerment. They will take place on the following dates and times:

Jan. 15: Tahoe Village Shopping Center (4600 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Clarkston) – services include COVID-19 testing (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), plasma donations (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), mammogram screenings (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and HIV testing (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Jan. 16: Cascade United Methodist Church (3144 Cascade Road, southwest Atlanta) – services include COVID-19 testing (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), plasma donations (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), mammogram screenings (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and HIV testing (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

More than 250,000 courses of COVID-19 convalescent plasma have already been administered to Americans, but with cases continuing to increase nationwide, so has the demand for plasma. The effort has been supported by high-profile names like actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, NBA player Marcus Smart and everyday individuals like Mare Johnson, who’s given more than a dozen times.

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