ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Concerns over the coronavirus are having a negative effect on the blood supply in Florida, and officials are asking donors to come forward.
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Blood drives are rapidly being canceled across the country as more businesses and organizations close.
Because of that, all blood types are needed, and platelets are a critical need, according to OneBlood.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings called the blood shortage an unintended consequence amid the coronavirus outbreak.
"We are quickly approaching a situation of a critical blood supply issue unlike we have ever seen before," said Susan Forbes with OneBlood.
Donors are not at risk of getting COVID-19 during the donor process, and workers are making sure everything is disinfected after each blood donation, said Forbes.
OneBlood is urging donors to come to blood donation centers, and also suggests that businesses who remain open during this time to consider holding a blood drive at their facility.
The Florida Department of Health on Saturday also said the state is getting ready to do drive-through coronavirus testing once supplies are in.
If you want to donate blood, or if you want to host a blood donation drive, head to the OneBlood website.
Additionally, in Orange County, OneBlood will be out at four Orange County early voting polling places all day Sunday and at several locations on Tuesday for blood donations. They include:
- Alafaya Library
- Southwest Library by Dr. Phillips Marketplace
- West Oaks Library
- Apopka Community Center
On Tuesday, OneBlood will be at city halls in Apopka, Winter Park, Maitland, Winter Garden and the Town of Eatonville.