By Shelby Stewart
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Red Cross has had around 2,700 blood drives canceled, resulting in more than 86,000 fewer blood donations across the country.
In light of this, St. Anne Church will still host their annual blood drive for Versiti/Michigan Blood on Good Friday.
From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., April 10, St. Anne Church, 825 S. Ortonville Road, Ortonville, anyone can donate blood. Sign up online by going to www.versiti.org/michigan or by calling (866) 642-5663 or call St. Anne Church at (248) 627-3965 ext. 103 and Milligan can sign you up.
“Although all of us are practicing social distancing, or at least should be, there are so many needs to help our wonderful, caring people on the front line who are in desperate need of items to help our at-risk individuals,” said Karyn Milligan, Christian service coordinator.
“We are in critical need for donors, and all precautions will be taken to ensure your safety,” she said. “We will be taking walk-ins, but you may have to wait awhile,” said Milligan. “When you enter the building, you will be given a number and we will ask you to please wait in your car. As we come together as a nation to help where needed, this is a good place to devote your extra time while providing help to so many people.”
Precautions include prescreening of both staff and potential donors for possible respiratory infections and fever, the beds being six feet apart and/or separated by a partition, wiping down surface area and beds frequently and providing only packaged snacks and drinks for donors.
“Blood drives across the country are being canceled. This is going to end up in an unprecedented situation if we’re not careful,” said Chris Hrouda, president of Biomedical Services for the American Red Cross. “We are doing everything in our power to ensure that we don’t get to a critical level of the blood supply. If we continue to see blood drives cancel, we are going to reach a level of inventory of which we haven’t seen in the past.”
By Shelby Stewart