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ATLANTA (41NBC/WMGT) – Georgia governor Brian Kemp and the American Red Cross are urging Georgians to donate blood as federal, state and local officials work to address the effects of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
The request came in a news release from the governor’s office Tuesday afternoon.
“As we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we must ensure that we maintain the necessary blood supply to aid patients throughout Georgia and across the United States,” Kemp said. “Those who are healthy, without symptoms, and eligible to give blood or platelets should consider doing so. America has faced its challenges before, and when we face them together, we come out stronger. I am encouraging all Georgians to support their neighbors and donate blood as they are able.”
The American Red Cross issued these messages regarding blood donation and COVID-19:
- Donating blood is a safe process.
- People should not be concerned about giving or receiving blood during this time.
- More healthy donors are needed to prevent a blood supply shortage.
- Please maintain scheduled blood drives, which allows donors to give blood.
The Red Cross says that as an emergency preparedness organization, it has also taken additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and donors at each Red Cross blood drive, including only collecting blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation and who meet other eligibility requirements, which are available at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is pre-screening all individuals by checking their temperature before they enter any Red Cross blood drive or donation center, including staff and volunteers.
At each blood drive and donation center, the Red Cross says its employees follow strict safety protocols, including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.
If you’re interested in donating blood, you can schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).