The American Red Cross Gold Country Region announced that they are facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.
Healthy individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the American Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.
As the pandemic has grown in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate and over 3000 blood drive have been cancelled. These cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. More than 80 percent of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives held at these locations.
The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for our donors and staff, including checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy, providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process, spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors, and increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.