As workplaces, college campuses, and schools temporarily close or urge remote work in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the impacts are being felt throughout the community and even the blood supply.
Right now, the American Red Cross has a "severe blood shortage" due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations at these locations.
To date, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Here in the Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region, 61 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in 2138 units fewer blood donations.
The Red Cross is now adding appointment slots at donation centers, and expanding capacity at many community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to ensure ample opportunities for donors to give.
Volunteer donors are in a unique position to ensure essential medical care continues for those who depend on lifesaving transfusions, such as surgical patients, accident victims, new moms with complicated childbirths, patients going through cancer treatment, and more.
Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.