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Blood donations needed amid coronavirus pandemic

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- There's a blood shortage across the United States due to coronavirus.

The Mayo Clinic's Blood Donation center is one organization that had been feeling that shortage. It had fewer donors last week than normal. However, donations are are now picking back up.

Mayo Pathologist Dr. Justin Kreuter said the need for blood continues to be high.

"A lot of our mobile collections have canceled. That was really a concern for us because we need about 100 people a day on average to come in here to our donor center in the Hilton Center downtown to donate a unit of blood or to donate a platelet unit," Kreuter said.

The clinic encourages people to call and schedule donations through its blood donation program, so there can be effective social distancing between donors in the waiting room.

Kreuter addressed a question many people have about donating while the coronavirus spreads.

"People are in our community who have never donated before, or thought about donating before or are concerned about, 'is it safe to donate for example?' Absolutely! It's safe to donate. Nobody's going to get coronavirus the novel coronavirus from donating blood. And also for patients, they don't have to be concerned because coronavirus is not spread through blood transmission. With that said were only wanting people who are feeling healthy and not in quarantine to come in and donate," he said.

"We're still wanting only people who are feeling healthy and are not in quarantine to come in and donate. And that means we're going to need people who have never donated before," he said.

Donors have to wait 12 weeks before donating again, and Kreuter is encouraging new people to take on the role.

"Those who have never donated. We're really gonna need you to step up if your feeling healthy, if you're not in quarantine, at some point over these several months period," Kreuter said.

KaMaria Braye

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