Local blood donations drop as COVID-19 case count rises

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Local blood donations have dropped as the number of confirmed COVID-19 case rises, but the number of people who need transfusions hasn't.

Local blood donations have dropped as the number of confirmed COVID-19 case rises, but the number of people who need transfusions hasn't. (Courtesy Photo)

"Regardless of a pandemic or what's going on in the world, every two seconds somebody in our country needs blood," American Red Cross representative Jane Hale said Wednesday.

Hale says the threat of COVID-19 has is keeping potential donors at home.

"The numbers are kind of hard to even say, but as of now 7,000 blood drives have been canceled across the US... it's a severe shortage for us right now," she said.

"The only way for blood to get on hospital shelves is for people to roll up their sleeves and generously donate," and Hale says even with 'shelter in place' orders, this is still possible.

"Donating blood is an essential and safe process, but we are making it even safer," as the American Red Cross has implemented extra measures to keep people safe and healthy including temperature checks of staff and donors.

No one with a temperature higher than 99.5 degrees is allowed to donate.

Hand sanitizer is readily available, chairs have been moved farther apart, and areas donors touch are cleaned immediately.

"If you are healthy and you feel good, please make that appointment," says Hale.

Those who wish to donate may make appointments online and may also find out where drives will be held.