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Coronavirus leads to national blood shortage

Posted at 10:04 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 23:27:49-04

WACO, TX — Blood donation centers across the country are urgently looking for donors after several area blood drives were canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

Across the country, organizers have canceled more than 1,500 blood drives, according to the American Red Cross. Those cancellations have resulted in the loss of more than 46,000 donations.

“We have high schools at this time of year who give back to their communities by hosting blood drives," Carter BloodCare Manager of Operations Vickie Carpenter said. "But with COVID-19 and the precautions people are taking, they are closed.”

Blood donation centers are taking precautions to make sure donors are not exposed to the virus. In addition to their normal screening and cleaning, they are wearing personal protection equipment and sterilizing their equipment.

So far, there have been no cases involving the spread of COVID-19 through blood.

Carter BloodCare will have additional staff and beds available to donors from March 17 until March 20. They also plan to host several blood drives across Central Texas in the next week:

Thursday, March 19
Seton Medical Center in Harker Heights on the Carter BloodCare Bus from 11am – 3pm

Friday, March 20
Wooded Acres H-E-B in Waco on the Carter BloodCare Bus from 11am – 3pm

Saturday, March 21
VFW Post 6008 Hewitt on the Carter BloodCare Bus from Noon – 4pm.

Sunday, March 22
St. Paul Lutheran Church on the Carter BloodCare Bus from 9am – 1pm