American Red Cross to begin holding more blood drives as COVID curve flattens

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Coronavirus

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The American Red Cross had to cut back on the number of blood drives during the pandemic. But as counties start to move into the yellow and green phases—more and more drives are making a return.

As the curve continues to be flattened with COVID-19, hospitals across the region are resuming elective surgeries.

“The demand for blood is going up and now we are in a situation where we need to continue or we need to start collecting even more than what we were,” said Alana Mauger, Biomedical Field Marketing and Communications for the American Red Cross.

In order to do that, donors are always needed. For the past few months, blood drives have been on a decline—but still active. As counties start to make the return, drives are as well.

“I’ve always wanted to help those who you know need it. God forbid of course. Yeah, just always wanted to give back in a way,” said Jessica Garris of Cresco.

Ray Price Auto Park Route 33 hosted a blood drive Thursday. This is Jessica Garris’ first time giving blood.

“It’s exciting. I’ve always wanted to try it. I figured why not,” she said.

With the current times, Red Cross workers are following through with CDC and state guidelines. They are requiring masks, temperature checks at the door, providing hand sanitizer, sanitizing beds after each donor and making sure everyone stays at least six feet apart.

“We’re doing everything possible to make sure that the blood donation process is safe as possible,” said Alana Mauger.

To continue that effort, Mauger says the Red Cross is looking for large spaces to hold drives.

“They want a nice, clean facility that are temperature-controlled which we are able to provide and easy to get to for their people who come,” said Chuck Megee, the general manager of Ray Price Auto Park Route 33.

Megee reached out to the Red Cross, knowing blood drives are able to come back.

“What we’ve done as other businesses can’t have their events, we’ve been volunteering our facilities to help fulfill their schedules.”

Blood drives are by appointment with limited walk-ins available. To donate and to schedule, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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