(WTNH) — The American Red Cross needs blood donations more than ever. Dozens of blood drives across that state have recently been canceled due to coronavirus spread fears. This comes as the Red Cross warns of severe blood shortages nationwide.
As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus rise across the state and nation, the Red Cross is actively searching for healthy volunteers to donate blood.
Several blood drives are happening in Connecticut Wednesday. Some locations include the American Red Cross Blood Donation Centers in Farmington and Norwich, South Windsor Town Hall, and St. Francis Hospital.
For a full map of upcoming blood drives in your area and to make an appointment, click here or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
If you can’t make it out to a blood drive Wednesday, the Red Cross headquarters in Farmington holds blood drives every day including weekends.
At an American Red Cross blood donation center in Norwich Wednesday, there were obvious new protocols in place to implement social distancing and sanitation.
The beds and cots are all six feet apart, and before you can even come in you have to have your temperature taken and use hand sanitizer.
Staff are also screened before entering.
This center is usually open just Tuesdays and Thursday, but now it’s open daily Monday-Friday to meet the need from the loss due to cancelled blood drives.
70 blood drives in the past couple of weeks have been cancelled and that’s over 1,800 pints of blood that have been lost.– Sue Rochester-Bolen/American Red Cross
The need is still there. Bolen says car accidents are still happening, people are still getting surgeries, and those undergoing cancer treatments are still in need of blood, among other things.
One blood drive which hasn’t been cancelled is sponsored by the Greater Norwich Chamber of Commerce and that will still happen this Friday at the Holiday Inn in Norwich.
“We all talked about it and we said no this is something that we need to help our community out,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Angela Adams.
They don’t want people to just walk in; they want them to register online.
Wednesday morning ten new people signed up to donate and they hope that helps meet the needs which have not dropped.
People are stepping and helping so hopefully we can make it through this. And we’ll have more blood donors at the end of it.– Sue Rochester-Bolen/American Red Cross