DEDHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — With fewer people giving blood donations due to coronavirus fears, the Red Cross wants to reassure people that donating blood is safe.
Potential donors' hesitation is hurting the organization's blood stores. More than 120 blood drives across the country have been cancelled because of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, amounting to about 3,500 fewer units of blood.
Reuters reports that blood banks across the United States fear that the coronavirus outbreak will also cause a potential shortage of blood stores.
Kelly Isenor, Communications Manager for the Red Cross's Blood Donor Center in Dedham, told WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville there's no reason COVID-19 should keep donors away.
"There's no evidence to suggest that this coronavirus can be spread through blood transfusion," she said.
About seven people were at the Dedham center donating blood Wednesday. Isenor said that's about average, and they need more.
"With fears surrounding coronavirus, what we want to make sure people understand is, part of preparedness is having a healthy blood supply," she said.
The Red Cross is also taking precautions at donation centers.
"We're trying to institute where we're taking donors' temperatures before they even enter the room where the blood drive is being held," Isenor said. "If there's a temperature past a certain point, we're asking them to maybe delay their donation for a week or two, just until it gets under control."
WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports