By LEE J. KAHRS
BRANDON — Want to give blood? Be sure to make an appointment.
The American Red Cross has put out the call for blood donors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with most people staying at home, donors are more plentiful than ever.
But since social distancing protocol means only taking one donor at a time, organizers say making an appointment online is the best way to go.
“People have more time on their hands and are answering the call, but we have to manage the appointments,” said Team leader Julianne Curtis at the blood drive on Monday held at Otter Valley Union High School. “The more staff at a blood drive, the more donors we can take.”
Curtis said that making appointments online definitely helps keep the blood drives organized and moving.
There were three people waiting in chairs marked 6-feet apart in the OV cafeteria. Everyone on the staff and the donors wore face- masks.
Curtis was just finishing up with donor Tracee Stevens of Sudbury. Stevens was asked if she is a regular donor or was compelled to give blood due to the pandemic.
“Yes, I’m a regular donor, and I give as often as I can,” she said,
Curtis ran down the list of recommendations for Stevens post- donation, including drinking plenty of healthy fluids.
“Is beer a healthy fluid?” Stevens asked with a wry smile. Waiting her turn, Kate Donnelly of New Jersey said she, too, is a regular blood donor. She said she has been staying at her home in Killington since the pandemic began.
“You watch everything going on and you want to do something,” she said, “but I do give blood all the time.”
To find a blood drive locally and make an appointment, head online to redcrossblood.org/give.html/finddrive.