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Nebraska Community Blood Bank pleads for donations, fears COVID surge driving down donations

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Posted at 12:22 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 13:22:34-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — In a release from Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB), it announced a "blood emergency" due to fears of the COVID-19 delta variant leading to a drop in donations.

“Our hospitals need our help,” said Kathy Geist, NCBB senior executive director. “The long-term impact of the pandemic has meant we’ve had 18 months of smaller and fewer blood drives at schools, businesses, places of worship, and community centers.”

Following a chronic shortage that's lasted through the pandemic, the NCBB said it saw donors return when vaccines became available but it believes now is the time to stock up on blood supply.

“Since the start of the pandemic we’ve seen far fewer high school or college first-time donors, and only the bare minimum of student blood drives,” Geist continued.

Donation drives at high schools and colleges usually account for about 17% of total donations.

“As we head into the Labor Day holiday and many people take their final vacations of the summer, we’re facing a real emergency collecting enough blood to supply our local hospitals” said NCBB Manager of Donor Recruitment Maryann Malec.

On top of knowing that your donation could save a life, the NCBB said all donors will be eligible for a thank-you gift.

The NCBB said, Staff at the blood center continue to take extra precautions to help prevent person-to-person spread of COVID-19, including reimplementing facial covering requirements. Interested donors can learn more about these safety precautions, find out if they’re eligible, or schedule an appointment to give at NCBB.ORG or by calling 1-877-486-9414.”

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