c/o American Red Cross
Community Issues

Red Cross Urges People To Donate Blood Amid Coronavirus Concerns

The need to keep giving blood is critical, even during a global health crisis.

As panic about the coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeps the nation, the Red Cross is urging people who are healthy and feeling well to continue donating blood to avoid a shortage.

The organization noted that cold and flu season has already greatly impacted the amount of blood and platelets being donated. Now, with the spread of the Coronavirus, the number of people eligible to give blood is shrinking even further.

"We're asking the American people to help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time. As communities across the country prepare for this public health emergency, it's critical that plans include a readily available blood supply for hospital patients," said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services.

There's no reason to feel nervous about giving blood, even with the threat of the coronavirus, said the Red Cross in a press release. Aside from there being no evidence that the virus can caught from a blood transfusion, the process for giving blood is as safe and sanitary as you can get.

Red Cross and blood drive employees are required to wear gloves, and they constantly wipe down the areas where drives are taking place. The sets used to collect the donations are completely sterile, and workers will apply an aseptic scrub to your arm before drawing any blood.

There is NO evidence and NO confirmed cases worldwide of people getting any kind of respiratory virus, including the coronavirus, from a transfusion.

c/o American Red Cross

Blood donations continue to help victims of accidents, heart surgery and organ transplant patients and those receiving various treatments for leukemia, cancer, or sickle cell disease. Volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions, which is why, the Red Cross says, it is important to keep the donations coming in.

"Keep giving, keep hosting blood drives. Patients across the country need our help." Chris Hrouda, President, Red Cross Blood Services

To be safe, the Red Cross is asking any potential donors to wait 28 days before giving blood if they:

  • Recently traveled to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea
  • Have been diagnosed with Covid-19 or have come into contact with anyone who is suspected to have the virus

Other than those two restrictions, people should feel free to give blood at their local drives and donation centers as often as they can.

How can you start something good?

To find a blood drive near you, click here. You can also use the Red Cross Donor App or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

If you're interested in hosting a blood drive, click here for more information.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

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