Though the coronavirus pandemic has stymied some of the New York Blood Center’s usual activity, the need for blood persists.
In response to the need, the organization is planning to host a series of recurring blood drives at the Greenport American Legion each Tuesday through Sept. 1. The next one runs from 1 to 7 p.m. this Tuesday, August 11.
The first drive in the series allowed the center to collect 216 donations and they hope for at least 50 donations Tuesday — enough for 150 patients.
The onset of COVID-19 forced many blood drives in the area to be cancelled. Those mobile blood drives hosted by schools, businesses and other organizations accounted for approximately 75% of the region’s incoming blood supply, according to a press release issued by the New York Blood Center Monday.
A limited number of blood drives have resumed with extra precautions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Donors must wear masks, submit to a temperature check and may not donate if they have had symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test result in the last 14 days, on self-quarantine restrictions or experiencing a cold, sore throat or any other flu-like symptoms.
Staff members also submit to health assessments before work, officials said. Blood centers do not conduct COVID-19 testing.
A single donation can provide life-saving blood to multiple patients, including cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, newborns and their mothers, transplant recipients and others.
Officials said that while blood drives have resumed, they are not enough from the drives needed per month to support area hospitals. Those interested in hosting a blood drive are asked to reach out to Tina Kovolisky at 516-478-5017.