Red Cross faces severe blood shortage amid COVID-19 crisis

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CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The American Red Cross is asking you to step up and donate if you’re healthy.

The organization is facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this COVID-19 outbreak.

In response, 3700 blood drives have been cancelled across the country. 33 of those blood drives in Western New York, alone. 

“I’ve been with the Red Cross for ten years and I’ve never seen a situation with this many blood drive cancellations across the country,” said Regional Communications Officer, Jay Bonafede. 

Cancellations are expected to continue, causing a severe shortage. So those involved say its now more important than ever to donate and help your neighbor in need. 

“Whether they’ve just had a car accident , recovering from Cancer..whatever it may be its that blood on the shelves that they need to sustain a life,” said Bonafede. 

The Red Cross is taking every precaution. Before you even walk in the door to give blood, you now need to sanitize and have your temperature taken. Once you’re cleared then you can enter the donor center and give blood.

“So we’re really doing what we can to make sure this process is safe for our donors, our staff, volunteers and of course for the recipients at the end,” said Bonafede. 

For more information or to make an appointment yourself head here.

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