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Blood drives cancel, Kentucky Blood Center needs donations

Posted: 12:42 PM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 18:41:22-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — While there are fewer things to do right now, the Kentucky Blood Center wants people to know that you can still donate blood. Donations needed even more now that social distancing guidelines have led to blood drive cancellations.

Since the state started getting confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Kentucky Blood Center had more than 100 blood drives through April cancel. That's a hard hit since a bulk of the donations come from mobile blood drives.

While Vice President of Marketing Martha Osborne says the blood supply is stable right now for the more than 70 hospitals the center serves, there is concern for the coming weeks. She’s encouraging anyone who is healthy to donate.

There are some changes now at the center. Donations are by appointment only and people are asked to complete the health history questionnaire online before they come in. Donation hours have been expanded to help get more donors.

The center has set up the waiting area to keep people from getting too close to each other and sanitizing efforts have increased.

The center is also taking extra steps to make sure only healthy donors walk in.

“We are asking if you’ve traveled to any of the Level 3 areas of the world, and that now includes New York City, to wait for 28 days. If you’ve been diagnosed with the virus, wait 28 days. If you’ve been around or exposed to it or think you’ve been exposed to it, we want you to wait 28 days. That just keeps everybody safe,” Osborne said. “There is no concern that the virus is transmitted through blood transfusion and blood transfusions are continuing. So, we will have a continuing need for blood donations for the long haul.”

To learn more information about any pop-up blood drives still happening near you, you can visit the Kentucky Blood Center’s website, kybloodcenter.org.