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COOS COUNTY — The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage due to the rising number of blood drive cancellations amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

People who are healthy and can give blood or platelets are being encouraged to reach out to the American Red Cross to donate as the health professionals and hospitals around the country brace for additional COVID-19 virus cases.

“Blood drives are being canceled at an alarming rate due to coronavirus concerns,” said a press release from the American Red Cross. “We understand people may be hesitant to come give blood, but we want to reassure everyone on the precautions our teams are taking to keep you safe.”

About 4,500 blood drives have been canceled as of Wednesday, March 18 throughout the U.S., according to Carisa Hettich, the executive director of the Southwest Oregon Chapter of the American Red Cross. The cancelations represent approximately 150,000 fewer blood donations.

“Like a hospital, grocery store, or pharmacy, a blood drive is vital to ensuring the health of the community, and blood drives are continuing to be held during this challenging time to help meet patient needs,” wrote Hettich in an email. “We recommend people leave home only for necessities—be they health care, groceries, or blood donation.”

Anyone interested in making an appointment to give blood or platelets can do so by visiting the American Red Cross’s website at RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

The following blood drives are being held in Coos County this month.

  • Friday, March 20 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Coquille Community Building located on 115 N Birch in Coquille
  • Monday, March 23 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 7 Devils Brewing Company located on 247 S. 2nd Street in Coos Bay
  • Tuesday, March 24 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints located on 3355 Virginia Ave in North Bend
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