Local Blood Drives need you

With the recent outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continuing to spread in the U.S., the Red Cross recognizes that you may be concerned about the health and safety of donating blood. It is important for you to be aware of the precautionary steps in our response to this situation as it will help provide you with peace of mind when you donate.

Blood donation is a safe process, and people should not hesitate to give and receive blood. At each blood drive, Red Cross employees follow thorough extensive safety protocols. In addition to their standard procedures, you will notice the following at your local blood drive:

Increased Educational Materials

•  Donor educational materials on COVID-19.

•  Stop sign at entrances to avert ineligible donors from presenting.

Pre-Donation Donor Temperature Screening

•  All donors will be asked to have their temperature taken before being permitted into the blood drive.

•  If a donor has a temperature greater than 99.5°F they will be asked to come back to donate when they are healthy and will be asked to leave the drive.

Enhanced Disinfecting

•  Hand sanitizer will be available at check-in, health history and refreshment areas.

•  Blood donors will be asked to use hand sanitizer prior to using tablets and laptops.

•  Donor beds will be sanitized between each and every donor

Social Distancing

•  Implementation of separated drive set up to allow as much distance as possible between donors.

Staff Wellness and Protection

•  All staff members will have a temperature check before presenting to work, and they've been asked not to come to work if they are feeling sick.

•  Staff will wear gloves throughout entire blood drive, changing gloves between each and every donor.

Blood Donor Deferrals

Individuals are asked to postpone their donation for 28 days following:

•  Travel to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

•  Diagnosis of COVID-19, contact with a person who has or suspected to have the virus

The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood or platelets to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages as concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, rise in the U.S.

Cold and flu season has already impacted the nation’s ability to maintain its blood supply. As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further.

“We’re asking the American people to help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time. As communities across the country prepare for this public health emergency, it’s critical that plans include a readily available blood supply for hospital patients,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services.

“As fears of coronavirus rise, low donor participation could harm blood availability at hospitals, and the last thing a patient should worry about is whether lifesaving blood will be on the shelf when they need it most.”

Upcoming blood drives in the area:

Prairie Lutheran School, 15 2nd St NE, Fairfax, MN on Tuesday, March 24, 1-7 p.m. in the gym.

Gibbon Community Center, 985 1st Ave., Gibbon, MN on Thursday, March 26, 1-7 p.m.

Redwood Falls Community Center, on April 13 and 14,12:30-6:30 p.m.


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