CHICAGO — Blood donations are badly needed across the state, which is already struggling with the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. JB Pritzker said.
More than 120 blood drives have been canceled in Illinois due to concerns about coronavirus. That’s leading to a shortage in blood, which could create a second health care crisis on top of COVID-19, officials warned Sunday.
People can still safely host and donate blood at drives — so long as social distancing is practiced — or make appointments at blood donation centers.
“One of the most important things you can do to ensure we do not have another health care crisis is to give blood,” a representative of Red Cross of Illinois said Sunday. “A blood drive is essential to ensuring the health of our community.
“The severe need for blood will continue today, tomorrow and the weeks and the months to come as we face this pandemic together.”
The donated blood will not be used in the battle against coronavirus directly, but it is needed for people facing other issues: car crash victims or people with cancer who regularly need transfusions, for example.
The Red Cross of Illinois is taking extra precautions to keep people safe when they donate blood and to ensure sick people are not donating, the representative said.
Donating blood does not weaken your immune system and there’s currently no evidence respiratory viruses like COVID-19 can be transmitted through a blood donation or transfusion, Pritzker said Sunday.
“A blood shortage will only worsen the health care crisis we’re facing right now, so we need your help,” Pritzker said.
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