Coronavirus: OneBlood calls on community for much-needed donations amid pandemic

Virus causing future blood drives to be canceled

OneBlood calls on community for donations during coronavirus pandemic.
OneBlood calls on community for donations during coronavirus pandemic. (WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Several big red buses for OneBlood are still taking blood donations during the coronavirus pandemic.

New locations have popped up, including one at the Altamonte Mall, and others like the one at the YMCA in Lake Mary are still open.

Jason Levine from Longwood is a frequent donor who says giving blood feels like his way of helping the community.

“The ability to help at a distance is what makes things worthwhile,” Levine said. “It helps put things into perspective, too. It’s something small that I can do. It takes 15 to 20 minutes, but it can help save three lives.”

Susan Forbes, the senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations at OneBlood, said due to COVID-19, more than 2,200 blood drives have been canceled through May, which means 36,000 packs of blood won’t be collected.

Many people are responding to the need for blood donations.

“We have seen a tremendous response across our service area of people coming in to donate blood,” Forbes said. “We put out the call for help and people are responding, and they are doing a tremendous job helping us sustain a ready blood supply. Now we need people to continue making this a habit.”

Forbes said people can donate blood every 56 days and donate platelets every seven days.

For people like Levine, it’s a small sacrifice.

“It’s super easy. It’s quick,” Levine said. “They give you juice and cookies. Honestly, it’s something small that everyone can do that makes a gigantic difference.”

To find locations for OneBlood buses, visit OneBlood.org.

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