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OneBlood facing 'unprecedented' blood drive cancellations amid COVID-19

Posted at 10:38 PM, Mar 19, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- A senior vice president with OneBlood says the organization is seeing a rapid cancellation of blood drives due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Susan Forbes, more than 1,900 groups have canceled hosting blood drives through May, accounting for 30,000 donations.

That's due in large part to businesses, schools and universities closing in recent weeks due to COVID-19.

"The rate that we are seeing blood drives being canceled is unprecedented and will impact our operations for months to come," said Forbes. "The need for blood does not stop and the issues facing this nation regarding the coronavirus is only heightening the need for a ready blood supply."

Ashley Ringham hasn't donated blood since college but on Thursday, she decided to roll up her sleeve at the OneBlood donation center on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa.

"I have friends that are nurses that are working really hard right now so I just kind of want to contribute when I can," said Ringham.

OneBlood wants donors and potential donors to know that staff members are following CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of the virus. They are not allowing more than 10 people inside donation centers, including staff members.

"We are disinfecting each donor bed after every donation, all the things that the donors come into contact with are disinfected after each donation," said Forbes.

Donors can make an appointment or walk-in at any OneBlood donation center.

You can also find a convenient mobile option by donating at a Big Red Bus.