Red Cross faces severe blood shortages amid coronavirus outbreak, calls on healthy donors to contribute

More than 200,000 fewer donations nationwide due to blood drive cancellations

A blood donation (Pranidchakan Boonrom/Pexels stock image)

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak rapidly evolves in Michigan and across the country, blood donation drives are being cancelled as people are asked to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.

As of March 23, there have been 7,000 Red Cross blood drive cancellations around the U.S., resulting in more than 200,000 fewer blood donations, officials said.

In Michigan, where a “stay-at-home” order has been issued by Gov. Whitmer, more than 220 drives have been cancelled, resulting in 7,000 fewer blood collections in the state.

Workplaces, college campuses and schools are closing around the state to practice social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Blood drives hosted at these locations are cancelled due to the closures.

With cancellations on the rise, Red Cross is facing a severe shortage of blood, officials said.

According to Red Cross officials, the cancellations and low donor turnout due to the COVID-19 outbreak are going to have a significant and continued impact on their blood supply in the coming weeks.

The Red Cross will continue to host blood drives to provide much needed blood to those in need, officials said.

Blood drives are exempt from bans on social gatherings, as they provide necessary resources that can’t be bought or manufactured.

Every blood donation can save up to three lives. Click here to make an appointment to donate blood to the Red Cross in your area.


About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.