LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A critical need for blood continues to rise after several blood drives were canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) officials also say that fewer people are donating.
That being the case, as most businesses are closing or restricting hours, the KBC is actually extending its hours to bring in more donors and make sure they're social distancing.
About 70% of all donations come from blood drives, and so far more than 100 drives have been canceled recently because of COVID-19 concerns.
The KBC says extending hours will help them space out appointments so fewer people are in the same areas.
They're also encouraging people to fill out health history forms online.
The KBC says donating blood is still safe, and staff is taking extra precautions to sanitize the area and space out donors.
They say maintaining the blood supply is especially important during a time like this.
"Cancer treatments still continue throughout this crisis, there are still accidents where people need blood transfusions or organ transplants that need blood transfusions, and so we want to make sure that we have blood there for people that need it,” says Mandy Brajuha with the KBC, adding, “And, how else can you save a life in less than an hour?"
Those wishing to donate are reminded to come in healthy, drink plenty of water, and eat a meal before donating.
Potential donors can also give blood at a pop-up drive on Wednesday near the Kroger at the Tates Creek Center. That drive runs until 5 p.m. Those wishing to participate will still need to set up an appointment. To set up an appointment, or for more information, click here.