COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the American Red Cross is urging people who are healthy to give blood as the nation begins to face a severe shortage.
According to the latest data, the Red Cross estimates “nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have canceled in the US due to COVID-19 concerns, resulting in 86,000 less blood donations.”
The resulting problem, according to Maya Franklin, the communications manager for Red Cross S.C., is that without blood, many people who rely on it for day-to-day needs will have to go without.
“It is safe and very much necessary to give blood,” she said. “And there is no evidence to support that you will get the coronavirus or any respiratory infection from giving blood.”
In light of the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, the Red Cross has taken extra steps to ensure the safety of donors.
"The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for our donors and staff, including:
- Checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process.
- Spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors.
- Increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment."
In South Carolina, people can donate at 2751 Bull St, Columbia, SC 2920, or visit that location to get questions answered.
To find out where and how to can give blood if you are healthy and able, go to redcrossblood.org to find the nearest location.