Covenant health holding emergency blood drives, need donors

KLBK News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Covenant Health will hold several emergency blood drives. The blood drives have been scheduled for weeks, but due to canceled blood drives at Texas Tech University, and a lack of donors due to the coronavirus, Vitalant and Covenant are encouraging people to donate blood.

President of South Division of Vitalant, James Dugger said they have seen a significant decrease in the number of donors for the month of March.

“Through march we are down about 25 percent in our donations and in this division and that’s about 37 hundred units,” Dugger said.

Dugger said a number of donors include Texas tech students, however, the campus is no longer open.

“Thirty percent of the blood that’s donated here in the United States comes from people that are 22 years and younger. Once we lose access to that donor group, that’s a pretty big impact for us,” Dugger said.

Dugger said giving blood is safe.

“There’s not any indication that it’s transmissible through blood transfusion anyway,” Dugger said.

Vitalant is also taking precautions when it comes to who can donate. They are asking people to wait thirty days before giving blood if they have travelled to a high-risk area.

“We’re doing our best to keep people distanced as much as we can, we are also having hands cleaning protocols that we’ve put in place,” Dugger said.

Dugger said they were already following a strict cleaning regimen prior to coronavirus concerns, but are taking their protocols further. He added they are not taking people’s temperatures when they come to give blood.

Covenant will be holding an additional blood drive Thursday March 19, at Knipling Education & Conference Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the Vitalant website.

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