We understand that this is a time of great uncertainty and so we want to assure you that, as a health care organization, we are taking every precaution to prevent the spread of coronavirus. As an organization that provides critical services, however, we also have a commitment to those we serve; and, per the mandate, we — and, by derivation, our donors (without whom we could not provide essential products to patients) — are exempted from the shelter in place.
While it may seem as if the world has stopped — and indeed, in certain sectors, it has — we as a community cannot forget about hospital patients in critical need. Even with a shelter in place in effect, individuals in our community — potentially even individuals we know personally — will continue to be in car accidents, need emergency organ transplants, give birth to babies in critical condition, and need chemotherapy. In short, there will still be lives that need saving. While the risk to most of us of leaving our house is mild sickness, the risk to patients if we stop showing up is potentially the difference between life and death.
We cannot lose sight of those who depend on blood donations. We know that asking you to leave your house at a time like this seems like a lot, but we want to assure you that there is no increased risk to contracting coronavirus from visiting a donation center or mobile blood drive, and that we are taking extra safety precautions and being extremely careful with our safety procedures so as to ensure the continued health of our donors. In particular, increased distancing between donors as well as extreme sanitation procedures in place at our donation locations makes them one of the safest public spaces to visit.
Remember that, like most respiratory viruses, the best way to keep yourself healthy is by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your eye, nose and mouth with unclean hands. At this time, we are not advising those over the age of 65 and donors who are at higher risk to come in to donate, per government recommendation.
Donating blood is an ESSENTIAL service to ensure patient safety. Now is the time to step up and be a real hero for your community. We hope that you will join us in continuing to provide for those who need it most.