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American Red Cross struggles to keep blood drives running

Staff at the American Red Cross in Roseburg said they rely on schools and businesses to host blood drives at their buildings.

Posted: Apr 7, 2020 6:51 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore.—The American Red Cross is struggling to keep blood drives up and running now that schools and most businesses are closed due to coronavirus concerns.

Staff at the American Red Cross in Roseburg said they rely on schools and businesses to host blood drives at their buildings.

They said it’s the easiest way to get donors because most of them will be the students or employees. About 20% of blood donations come from schools or university blood drives.

“When we host at a school, it’s a two-day event,” said Valerie Gordon, the account manager at the American Red Cross. “We’re inside and we have our bus outside and we collect 100 units in those two days.”

Gordon said they’ve canceled at least 20 blood drives in Douglas County since March.

“We can’t manufacture blood in a manufacturing facility,” said Gordon. “We are the ones who generate it.”

However, Gordon said they’ve been able to reschedule a few blood drives at different locations.

There have been more than 400 blood drives canceled across Oregon and Washington due to coronavirus concerns. That’s a loss of about 11,000 donations, Gordon said.

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