State officials encourage blood donations amid Chicago-area shortage

Coronavirus
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CHICAGO — The closures of schools and disruption to businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in hundreds of blood drives across the state being canceled — that means blood donations are urgently needed.

During a news conference Thursday health officials encouraged healthy individuals to donate blood as soon as possible.

They also announced the #GiveBloodChallenge to encourage social media participation to spread the word. Participants were asked to post photos while donating blood and inviting their friends to do the same.

The non-profit Vitalant organization collects blood from volunteer donors and provides blood, blood products, and services across the United States.

Holly Seese of Vitalant tells WGN that the organization has lost thousands of donations over the past few days. And both red blood cells and platelets have a short shelf life.  

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said COVID-19 does not pose any risk to a blood donor during the donation process.

For more information on how you can help, go to vitalant.org or call 877-258-4835.

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