SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The American Red Cross is facing a severe shortage of blood donations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across New York State, the Red Cross has seen the cancellation of well over 100 blood drives during this coronavirus outbreak. That has resulted in a drop of over 3,000 units of blood.

Those canceled blood drives are often because they’re held in venues that have been closed either by choice or by executive order.

Giving blood is a safe process, that’s what we’re trying to ensure donors. In fact the US Surgeon General has encouraged people who are healthy to still go out and give blood. In his words, and I think this is a great line, social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.

American Red Cross spokesperson Kelly Isenor

So, the Red Cross is not only looking for donors but also larger spaces that can host a blood drive. They would like enough space so beds can be far enough apart to respect social distancing.

They do want to remind people that it is safe for healthy people to give blood.

“There’s no evidence of any respiratory virus, including this coronavirus, being spread through blood transfusions. That being said if somebody has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been around someone who has been diagnosed we are still asking you to wait 28 days before you come out and donate,” Isenor says.

She adds that every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and not just for an emergency or regularly scheduled surgery.

“More than a quarter of blood is collected by all blood collection agencies in the country for cancer patients,” Isenor tells NewsChannel 9.

Click here to find a blood drive near you and make an appointment.

Click here to reach the Central New York Chapter of the Red Cross if you have a venue that could host a blood drive.

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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9