SE Pennsylvania Red Cross asking for donors, places to hold blood drives amid coronavirus outbreak

As people look for ways to reach out to their neighbors during these unsettled times, local blood banks say they can really use your help.

And the White House joined the Red Cross Thursday in appealing for more blood donations.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said blood banks across the country need blood more than ever.

Nationally, 4,500 blood drives have been canceled because of the outbreak. That translates to 150,000 donations lost.

"We know all of you are home practicing the president's guidelines for social distancing, but one thing we should all consider - especially millennials and Gen Z - is donating blood," said Dr. Adams, a practicing anesthesiologist.

Across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the Red Cross has lost nearly 12,000 donations

The organization has always taken precautions to protect donors, like changing gloves and wiping down areas between donors.

Now, regional CEO Guy Triano says it's taking extra steps.

"We're taking everybody's temperature that's going to the blood drives before they even walk into the blood drive - donors as well as our staff. we're providing hand sanitation, handwashing stations as well throughout the drive. And as best possible, we're spacing out the beds to honor social distancing," says Triano.

He says the Red Cross adds that they urgently needs donors AND places to host blood drives NOW.

It will also hold a drive Friday at its headquarters on Chestnut Street, and the donor center in Spring Garden is open.
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