Local blood donations decline amid coronavirus fears

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The need for blood never goes away.

According to Allie Van Dyke, media coordinator at The Blood Connection, the Upstate is seeing a dramatic drop in the number of people willing to donate due to coronavirus fears.

“As of right now, no one has gotten the coronavirus through a blood transfusion,” Van Dyke said.

According to AABB, people are not at risk of getting COVID-19 through the blood donation process or via a blood transfusion.

“We cannot make blood. We cannot manufacture it so if we continue to have days like we’ve had since Friday because of coronavirus concerns and the flu, we are looking at a blood shortage for this community, ” Van Dyke said. ” We are not there yet and we don’t want to get there.”

Officials at The Blood Donation Center told us they saw a 20 percent drop in donations since Friday and had blood drive cancellations that have totaled roughly 300 units of blood.

Van Dyke said they need about 650 donations per day and are usually able to get around 600, but coronavirus and flu fears have caused low donor turnout.

With coronavirus cases on the rise throughout the region some people are steering clear of all local medical related facilities, some including blood donation centers.

Despite fears, this Saturday the Blood Connection is partnering with Harvest Hope Food Bank to give people in the community the opportunity to donate those in need.

They will host a food and blood drive at the Ingles in Cherrydale where they will give all donors a 10 dollar gift card, and donate 10 dollars to Harvest Hope food Bank to help someone in the community with food insecurities.

Van Dyke says that even though the blood connection has already been using the sanitary measures , they plan to go above and beyond to make sure donors feel safe.

“We are going to make sure we are cleaning surfaces extra than we usually do like cleaning the donor bed, cleaning surfaces within the mobile van,” Van Dyke said. “Coronavirus or no coronavirus we were doing that anyway.”

Harvest Hope Food Bank and The Blood Connection will hold their “March to End Hunger” blood and food drive this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Ingles Cherrydale, located at 1500 Poinsett Highway in Greenville.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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