Is donating blood at a drive during the pandemic safe?

MADISON, Wis. — As the pandemic continues, the Red Cross is reminding everyone of its need for blood – and the safety of its blood drives.

The Red Cross reports a 30 percent increase in demand as hospitals start to reschedule elective surgeries. The organization still holds blood drives every day, but if you’re concerned about the safety of going to one, here’s a list of the measures in place to keep everyone from getting COVID-19.

  1. Everyone has their temperature checked before entering the blood drive
  2. Masks are required for all donors and staff
  3. Appointments are encouraged to avoid crowds
  4. Surfaces are wiped down constantly, and hand sanitizer is set up at the entrance

There is also a process in place to alert folks if another donor at a blood drive later tests positive for OVID-19, according to spokesperson Laura McGuire. It’s important to note though, the Red Cross says there’s no scientific research that the illness spreads through blood transfers.

The Red Cross is also looking for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma, to be used in research and potential treatment for the illness. Plasma donations don’t take place at blood drives, but you can make an appointment at https://www.redcross.org/.

The Red Cross is also hosting a blood drive in honor of Levi Linscheid, who died in a car crash last October. Levi is the brother of News 3 Now This Morning anchor Leah Linscheid. The blood drive is scheduled for Friday in Highland from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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