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Red Cross, LifeSouth continue to encourage donations during pandemic

The world is different now from the days before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the need for community members to donate blood has not diminished.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the American Red Cross has seen an outpouring of donors trying to help during this time.

The American Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to schedule and keep donation appointments in the upcoming weeks to help ensure there is a steady supply of blood throughout the pandemic.

“Blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of our communities,” said American Red Cross media specialist Ronnika McFall. “The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need. With no known end date in this fight against coronavirus, the Red Cross needs the help of donors and blood drive hosts to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come.”

McFall said the Red Cross always has precautions concerning health and safety at all blood drives and donation centers, but additional precautions have been added to ensure social distancing and help prevent the spread of the virus.

The American Red Cross is not the only group trying to do their part to help with the virus. LifeSouth, the provider for local hospitals, is particularly encouraging anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to help by donating plasma.

This plasma will be used to transfuse to patients who are battling COVID-19 to help with recovery.

Any donated plasma will be sent to medical centers to treat critically ill patients. This form of treatment is considered an investigative by the FDA because of the antibodies the plasma contains to help fight the virus.

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 is eligible to give plasma after going 14 days without symptoms and testing negative for COVID-19 in a lab or going 28 days without symptoms if there is no additional test administered.