On Tuesday, the American Red Cross president & CEO Gail J. McGovern sounded the alarm.
“We’ve had 2,700 blood drives canceled so far and that equates to about 86,000 units of blood,” McGovern said, about the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States. The American Red Cross announced that nationally, it is facing a “severe blood shortage” as a result of an “unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak.”
The organization said that donors are needed urgently, and they are urging healthy and eligible donors to make an appointment by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Those potential donors who have traveled to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Italy, Iran, and South Korea are asked to delay their donation for 28 days, as well as anyone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19, or been in contact with a suspected case of the virus.
Throughout the week, governors across the country have echoed the concerns of the Red Cross, asking healthy residents to lend a hand and help meet the needs of their own communities.
On Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams called on Americans to donate blood. “You’ll be helping your country and community during this crisis and you might even save a life,” Adams said. Although social distancing guidelines are in place, he clarified that for those that are healthy, donating blood is a worthwhile reason to venture out of the house, especially with the enhanced precautions donation centers are now taking.