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OneBlood in need of donations as drives get canceled due to coronavirus concerns

Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 18:16:14-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Many blood drives scheduled through the end of May have been canceled because of COVID-19.

OneBlood has had 1,700 blood drives canceled through the end of May, due to the Coronavirus. This means OneBlood has lost over 25,000 blood donations. However, those who are healthy enough to donate can still do so at donation centers.

As blood drives are being canceled, blood centers across the country are experiencing shortages. Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for OneBlood, Susan Forbes, explained that despite the pandemic, people still need blood.

"The blood drives are being canceled because businesses are closed and schools are closed. And that's where we go to host blood drives, so as those locations are closing, that's severely impacting the number of places we can go to collect blood."

But, you can still donate at OneBlood donation centers.

"We will always be open," said Forbes. "The need for blood does not stop. It does not matter what is going on in the world, blood is still needed."

The senior vice president of corporate communications and PR for OneBlood says people still need blood, despite the pandemic.

Cancer patients, premature babies, trauma patients, and sickle-cell patients are just a few who need blood on a daily basis.

Forbes says the donation center is sanitizing anything that patients touch.

"We are also disinfecting every donor bed after each donation, everything that the donor touches, basically is disinfected after each donation, including the bed, the blood pressure cup, the hemoglobin sensor, the tablets that they register on," said Forbes. "Every donor touch point is sanitized."

"When people show up, we're asking for their phone number and we will ask them to wait outside of the bus or in their car or in their place of business, and we'll call you when it's your turn to come down to donate."

In the donation centers, Forbes said they have implemented the same protocol to make sure donors are away from each other.

OneBlood in Tallahassee is off Riggins Road.

Forbes says calling ahead of time to make an appointment is another way they are practicing social distancing.