Blood donation centers in the Triad face shortages because of coronavirus closures

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The coronavirus is creating more challenges for blood drive centers nationwide and in the Piedmont Triad area.

Many blood donation centers already struggle with donors giving blood and now with the recent pandemic they’re in dire need of something that’s so essential to human life.

Blood donation drives continue to cancel, leaving fewer options for people to give blood.

“Those cancellations are coming from a variety of reasons but it’s primarily workplaces, colleges, universities and schools where over 80 percent of our blood supply come from,” said John Hughes, of Piedmont Triad American Red Cross.

Healthy donors are urged to take a break from self-isolating and get out and donate blood. The Piedmont Triad American Red Cross is taking precautions because of the growing concerns of COVID-19. Before entering the donation room, donors are asked a few health questions and their temperatures are checked, which can’t exceed 99.5.

“Even the U.S. Surgeon General has indicted that giving blood is essential and that people should go and give blood if they’re able,” Hughes said.

Local health facilities like Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center rely on the American Red Cross for blood specifically for trauma patients, blood transfusion, cancer patients and some surgeries.

Other blood collection centers like One Blood, who supplies blood to Cone Health System, are feeling the impacts too.

“At One Blood we are at 1,700 blood drives that have been canceled through May and that accounts for 25,000 blood donations that now need to be made up,” said Susan Forbes, senior vice president corporate communications and public relations for OneBlood.

The American Red Cross said they are looking for host locations to continue blood drives.

They are also extending hours at their blood centers in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. If you would like to donate, see the dates times, and locations below.

The extended hours are below.

Date                      Site                                        Hours
3/19/2020            Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm            
3/20/205              Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
3/21/2023            Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
3/23/2020            Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
3/24/2020            Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
3/25/2020            Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
3/26/2020            Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
3/27/2020            Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
3/30/2020            Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
3/31/2020            Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
4/1/2020              Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
4/2/2020              Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm
4/3/2020              Winston-Salem FS            8am-7pm

3/26, 2-7 p.m., Central Baptist Church, 1715 Highway 68, Oak Ridge, NC
3/24-26, 2:30-6:30 p.m., High Point United Way, 815 Phillips Ave., High Point, NC
3/20, 3/25, 10a-2:30 p.m., Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, 215 S. Main St., Kernersville
3/24-26, 3/31-4/1, Noon-4 p.m., 844 Westlake Drive, Mt. Airy, NC

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North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline: 1-866-462-3821

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