GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. — Michelle Ellis Young said there’s a dire need for blood in Coastal Virginia.
The Executive Director of Coastal Virginia for the American Red Cross said that since last Friday, about 80 local drives have been canceled. That represents about 3,000 units or donations that don't go into the blood supply to save a life.
Drives have been canceled because the colleges, universities and high schools that partner with the Red Cross are temporarily closed and the workforce changed drastically as remote work increases.
There’s a great need for large facilities (because of social distancing requirements) to hold drives.
The Red Cross is asking people to schedule an appointment online (pre-register) at redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. That will ensure they can get to a donation location that has an availability.
The Red Cross is not encouraging any walk-ins because of the stringent requirements they’re operating under.
Through March 23, 7,000 blood drives have been canceled across the country, which represents about 200,000 blood donations that don’t go into the pipeline.
There's no evidence of COVID-19 is being transmitted by blood transfusions. Everyone is screened before going into the drives.
"The key for us is that we do need donors and we want them to come, but please, pre-register or call," Young said.