Tropical Storm Eta closes blood banks in parts of Florida, donations still needed

Donors asked to donate in areas not impacted by Eta

OneBlood accepts blood donations on Orlando United Day.
OneBlood accepts blood donations on Orlando United Day.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Due to Tropical Storm Eta, previously a hurricane, many nonprofit blood banks in Florida and along the southeastern U.S. will suspect operations.

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Early Wednesday afternoon, Eta was 115 miles southwest of Tampa, moving north-northeast at 10 mph with 70 mph winds.

On Wednesday, OneBlood officials said they were not collecting donations in Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Desoto, Sarasota, Highlands, Hardee and Manatee counties. However, many areas are not yet impacted by the storm. OneBlood is encouraging donors in those areas to make a donation that will help areas impacted by the storm.

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“The need for blood is now and it is ongoing. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to indefinitely disrupt blood collections and the impact from the hurricane is further compounding the situation. A sustained donor response is needed to ensure a ready blood supply is available at all times,” Susan Forbes, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for OneBlood, said.

To find a OneBlood location or Big Red Bus blood drive and to schedule an appointment, please visit www.oneblood.org.