Blood donations dip amid coronavirus pandemic

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SAN DIEGO — Thanks to the spread of the coronavirus, nearly 300 San Diego blood drives were forced to cancel, costing the American Red Cross more than 10,000 blood donations.

“I want America to know that blood centers are safe,” said Jerome Adams, anesthesiologist and vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, during a White House briefing Thursday morning.

Adams said he thinks people staying home in quarantine is partly to blame for the low numbers, too. He took to the podium to explain that blood centers have changed their protocols to make things safer.

“It’s spaced out,” said Mike Mitchell, who stopped by the American Red Cross in Kearny Mesa to donate blood. “There’s more space between people, so they are trying to be sensitive to people’s needs.”

Not only were patients spaced out, but temperatures were taken at the front door to ensure everyone walking in was healthy.

“It’s actually really busy, busier than normal,” said Maya Young, who also stopped in to donate.

Young said the word must have gotten out about the shortage of blood donations.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer did his part to help spread the news by visiting American Red Cross’ Kearny Mesa location to donate blood on Thursday. He was in and out in less than 30 minutes.

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