The American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be held on Saturday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Winn’s Creek Baptist Church, and officials of the American Red Cross say the need for blood donations has never been greater.

To reassure donors who have concerns about the safety precautions being taken, Joani Layman, Winn’s Creek bloodmobile coordinator, recently communicated with American Red Cross Chief Medical Officer Pampee P. Young, M.D., Ph.D.

“With constant news coverage of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), it’s easy to be swept up in misinformation and fear. Please know that the American Red Cross is monitoring and adapting daily to the evolving situation. There are a few key points I’d like to share with you,” said Young.

Throughout this crisis, she said blood drives remain an “essential activity,” as outlined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration.

She also said there have been no reported causes of respiratory virus being transmitted by blood, including this coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give blood,” said Young.

As always, the American Red Cross uses safety protocols, as always, to help prevent the spread of any infectin, she added.

Additional precautionary methods have been put in place in response to COVID-19 including:

• All donors are temperature-screened before being permitted into the blood drive. If bodily temperature is above 99.5°F, the donor is asked to donate another time instead.

• All Red Cross staff are asked to check their temperature before presenting to work and will not to report for work if they are showing any symptoms or test above 99.5°F.

• Blood donors are asked to use hand sanitizer before and during the donation process.

• Staff wear gloves throughout the donation process, changing gloves between every donor.

• Donor beds are sanitized between every donor.

They’re also implementing medically-recommended space between donors, said Young.

“Our commitment is tested every year with unexpected weather and illness events—it is during this time that we must hold tighter to our humanity and protect the most vulnerable among us. Thank you for your steadfast support. We will continue to update you on our response at RedCross.org,” she concluded.