Healthy individuals encouraged to donate amid COVID-19 pandemic

Blood donation is needed now more than ever, to help a critical blood shortage nationwide.

Many large-scale drives have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but smaller community drives are up and running, to make sure patients have the blood they need.

Thirteen thousand units of blood need to be collected across the country each and every day to maintain the blood supply.

New blood drives have been added at several Red Cross locations after several corporate partners were forced to cancel, said Joy Squier, Red Cross Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Joy Squier.

They include the Red Cross Rauner Center on Harrison Street in Chicago, and centers in Romeoville and Rockford.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes have been made to make sure donors and staff are safe changes.

"We're taking the temperature of staff and donors before entering the drive to make sure they are healthy, hand sanitizer before and after," said Squier. "Spacing beds to help with social distancing and increasing gloves and wiping down sterile collection."

The Red Cross wants to make sure the public remembers the importance of blood donation during the this pandemic.

"Blood drives are important like a hospital, a grocery store, a pharmacy, it's what we need to survive," said Squier. "We've figured out ways to make this work and hold blood drives during these challenging times to meet patient needs."

With the scheduling of drives constantly changing the Red Cross says the most up to the minute information on drives can be found here.
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