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Blood centers in need of donations

Collection specialist Shy Rush makes a note after a blood donation at the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center mobile blood drive in Hiawatha on Friday, June 8, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Collection specialist Shy Rush makes a note after a blood donation at the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center mobile blood drive in Hiawatha on Friday, June 8, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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With COVID-19 putting restrictions on everyday life, local blood banks are in need of donors.

The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center recently announced on its website that donating is safe and needed especially during this time. Those who are considering canceling donation drives are encouraged to contact the center to redirect donors to a new station where blood can be donated.

“We are encouraging blood donations now and in the next eight weeks to ensure adequate supplies during the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). We are working to prevent shortages locally. We are monitoring credible health agencies for updates on COVID-19 and are responding accordingly,” the release states. “There is no known risk to the safety of the nation’s blood supply except for lack of donations and there are no reports of spread of this respiratory virus, by blood transfusion.”

In Washington, Ron Anderson is a member of the Washington Lions Club which is hosting a drive April 9 at the KC Hall. Andersen said there are five different service clubs in town that hold blood drives and the Lions Club is just one of them.

There has been a lot of talk over the last few days about whether or not it is safe to donate, he said. However, Andersen said the club has taken every precaution to ensure this still is a safe practice and now more than ever donations are needed.

“There’s a strong need for blood year-round. The blood center has been having some drives canceled,” adding 3,000 were canceled last week alone.

“What they’re saying is giving blood is safe. You can’t get the virus form giving blood and you can’t get the virus from getting blood. We’re trying to keep then umbers up as much as we can to help out,” he said.

Donations will be accepted from anyone who has not been out of the country recently or is suffering from an illness. Those who would like to donate are encouraged to visit the Mississippi Valley Blood Center’s website to sign up for a time. Additional information about donating during the COVID-19 pandemic is available there as well.

For anyone who is able to get out and donate, Andersen encourages them to do so. Donating is safe and a potential way to save life’s during the pandemic.

“We’re just trying to ease those worries and concerns people may have,” he said.