PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Health experts say every two seconds across the nation a patient needs a blood transfusion and blood drive services are still critical even as other businesses are shutting down due to COVID-19.
The Food and Drug Administration advised in a statement on March 19 that there has been a nationwide shortage in the number of blood donations as drives are canceled in attempts to prevent the spread of the virus.
The administration is encouraging healthy donors to visit available local drives, as donating blood is still safe. The FDA states there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted by blood donations.
Local representatives with the OneBlood bank at 2696 MLK Jr. Blvd. assure community members they are taking all precautions necessary to ensure donors are safe when visiting mobile drives. Making appointments before arrival is encouraged to help adhere to social distancing guidelines. No more than two donors are allowed in the bus at a time and temperatures of every individual are being taken before they step on. After each donor exits sanitization measures are completed.
One donor, Ernestine Clinton said that she felt comfortable visiting the drive at Bill Byrd Kia on Friday.
“I came out here, I’m not worried, they’re taking all the precautions necessary, and I’m doing it for the babies and the older people like myself, that can’t donate. I want to be there for everybody, just like everybody has been there for me.”
Mobile drives will be located Saturday, April 4, at Bill Byrd Kia on 15th St. in Panama City and at Community Bank on R. Jackson in Panama City Beach from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donors tomorrow will be offered a 20$ E-gift card and free water bottle.
An appointment can be made using the OneBlood Donor App available in most app stores or downloadable here.