Scared of donating blood during the pandemic? Now may be the most important time

ATLANTA — The American Red Cross is about to launch a major blood drive, but COVID-19 could cause some problems.

Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen is at a donation center in Gwinnett County, where some regular donors haven’t been coming in.

The pandemic has kept some of them away, but the Red Cross said that giving blood during the crisis will help fight COVID-19.

Tara LaPierre has given blood for years, but this year, she believes the need has never been greater.

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“I think it’s really important if you’ve had it,” LaPierre said.

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Ronnika McFall with the Red Cross said that besides the already urgent need to keep the nation’s blood supply strong, they’re asking some donors to come twice because their immune systems may have produced COVID-19 antibodies.

“If you were diagnosed with COVID-19 and you’re now healthy and well, we’re asking you to take that extra step and come back and donate your plasma to help someone else,” McFall said.

The donors Petersen talked to at a center in Duluth have given blood many times before and the pandemic has not kept them away.

“It’s a good public service to provide what’s needed during COVID or whatever is going on,” William Panzer said.

LaPierree said COVID-19 is actually a reason to come in.

“If you’ve had it, come donate. If you haven’t, it’s just as important,” LaPierre said.


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