Red Cross hit hard during COVID-19 pandemic

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During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, emergencies don’t stop and neither does the American Red Cross.

Local volunteers are still working every day at providing comfort and care after disasters of all sizes including house fires.

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Even during this pandemic, hospital patients still need life saving blood, but with social distancing in order many large blood drives have been canceled. More than 200,000 units of blood have been lost due to blood drive cancellations.

This equates to about 600,000 people in need who could lose a blood product. Southeast Mississippi Chapter of the American Red Cross Executive Director John McFarland said, “We know from the Center for Disease Control there is no danger from giving or receiving blood. Blood itself and blood products are not affected by COVID. If there is a risk, it would be being around a large number of people and possibly catching it that way. We have eliminated all of that. Now it has added millions and millions of dollars in expense to the Red Cross because we are running financially inefficient blood drives.”

There are multiple local blood drives scheduled for the upcoming days. You can go online to redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive near you and make an appointment.

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