As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) is calling on the community to donate blood.
Due to COVID-19, the number of blood drives dropped by two-thirds this year. Pre-COVID, the NYBC held mobile drives hosted by schools, businesses and other organizations that made up of 75% of the region’s blood supply.
Blood donations normally slow down in the summer months, but NYBC is facing a new challenge when the school year starts because it is unknown if the supply will be replenished — school and college drives have resulted in 75,000 blood donations during each school year.
“The pandemic is forcing us to rethink the entire landscape, which means encouraging donors to take the extra step of making an appointment and traveling to a donor center. The loss of young donors is a particular challenge because our future blood supply is dependent on these first-time donors becoming lifetime donors,” said Andrea H. Cefarelli, Senior Executive Director of Recruitment & Marketing for New York Blood Center. “We’ve always relied on the fall to provide a boost in blood donations from high school and college students hosting drives and this year we know this relief will not be coming.”
While NYBC has hosted a limited number of blood drives this summer, it is far below the number needed to help support local hospitals. NYBC is encouraging eligible donors of all ages to adapt to this new normal by making appointments to visit a one of its 19 donors centers, which have expanded capacity and hours of operation in order safely accommodate more donors.
To make an appointment to donate blood, visit donate.nybc.org. Those who wish to host a blood drive can visit nybloodcenter.org. For more information about how the NYBC is keeping blood donations safe amid the pandemic, visit nybc.org.