ATLANTA, Ga. (WRBL) – Tuesday, Governor Brian P. Kemp joined the American Red Cross in encouraging Georgians to donate blood as federal, state, and local officials work to address the effects of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
“As we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we must ensure that we maintain the necessary blood supply to aid patients throughout Georgia and across the United States,” said Governor Kemp. “Those who are healthy, without symptoms, and eligible to give blood or platelets should consider doing so. America has faced its challenges before, and when we face them together, we come out stronger. I am encouraging all Georgians to support their neighbors and donate blood as they are able.”
The American Red Cross has issued the following messages regarding blood donation and COVID-19:
Donating blood is a safe process.
People should not be concerned about giving or receiving blood during this time.
More healthy donors are needed to prevent a blood supply shortage.
Please maintain scheduled blood drives, which allows donors to give blood.
As an emergency preparedness organization, the Red Cross has also taken additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and donors at each Red Cross blood drive. The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation and who meet other eligibility requirements, available at RedCrossBlood.org. The Red Cross is also pre-screening all individuals by checking their temperature before they enter any Red Cross blood drive or donation center, including staff and volunteers.
At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow strict safety protocols, including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub. Additional spacing has been implemented within each blood drive to incorporate social distancing measures between donation beds and stations within the blood drive. The average blood drive includes only twenty to thirty people. These mitigation measures will help to keep blood recipients, staff, and donors safe.
Those interested in donating blood may schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).