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Blood Supply Low As Drives Are Canceled

flickr/Mike Bartoszek https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Nearly every week you see announcements of blood drives at businesses, churches, schools and other locations.  But with the current guidelines to stay home and close many of these locations, blood drives are being canceled at an unprecedented rate.  

That creates a big problem for the blood supply.

An urgent call is being made for donors to step forward.  Jim Watts with the Central Illinois Community Blood Center said it's a concern now and going forward.

"Depending on how long some of these restrictions are in place for social distancing, we will see this for weeks and perhaps months to come,” he said.  

But what if donors are fearful about health risks?  The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams made it clear in an interview with NBC News that coronavirus fears should not stop donations. "You can still go out and give blood.  Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement," he said.  

Watts said blood center employees are screening all potential donors and are taking other safety precautions.  He added only people who feel well should attempt to donate blood.  

All blood types are needed.  Watts said if a business or organization can still host a drive, it would help. 

"If the office is closed down and there's no one there, at least for them to encourage their employees and give them permission to go give blood."

Those who wish to donate, but can't find a drive taking place can always go to their local blood center.  

We've included links to give you more information on where to donate blood in the central part of Illinoisand elsewhere.