On Tuesday, March 24, Highland’s regular community blood drive collected 38 units of blood from 44 donors, 20 more units than usual.
This blood drive was especially crucial, as many blood donation events have been canceled due to coronavirus-related closures of schools, public agencies and other mobile donation locations. While donation events have been cancelling, the need for blood continues and is anticipated to increase if the coronavirus pandemic keeps people from donating.
Donating blood is one of the “essential activities” exempt from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “stay-at-home” order.
“LifeStream donor centers and mobile drives are not large social gatherings that local and state officials are recommending be closed,” said Dr. Joe Chaffin, LifeStream Blood Bank’s chief medical officer. “They are tightly controlled environments designed to keep donors safe.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is currently low, and blood donation is particularly low-risk,” he said. “LifeStream follows FDA-regulated procedures, and our staff adheres to rigorous safety protocols. We have strengthened our cleaning procedures and minimized opportunities to touch shared surfaces.”
Highland’s blood drive was held in the parking lot of Highland Police Department as the facility itself was closed to the public as a measure to protect police department staff from spread of the virus.
While waiting outside the LifeStream mobile unit, donors did their best to observe social distancing guidelines.
The next Highland blood drive is scheduled for Monday, May 18.