As the spread of coronavirus continues throughout Kentucky and the United States, Kentucky Blood Center is appealing to healthy individuals to donate blood to prevent shortages in the more than 70 Kentucky hospitals it serves.

According to a statement from Kentucky Blood Center, an unprecedented number of mobile blood drives have been canceled over the coming weeks, leading to a loss of nearly 2,000 anticipated blood donations.

Nationally, more than 4,000 blood drives have canceled, leading to a loss of more than 130,000 donations.

Kentucky Blood Center continues normal operation at its six donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Somerset and Pikeville and is holding mobile blood drives where possible throughout the state.

"While there is no documented risk to donors, the nonprofit continues to put donors’ health and well-being at the forefront of operations," the statement said. "Extra steps have been added to protect donors, staff, and the communities served, including frequently sanitizing surfaces and distancing donors during the blood donation process."

“Giving blood is a tangible way to take action in uncertain times,” said Martha Osborne, vice president of marketing for Kentucky Blood Center. “Cancer patients, accident and burn victims and other neighbors continue to need blood products. We anticipate with school and business closings that a national blood shortage will continue for the foreseeable future. It is imperative that healthy individuals continue to donate blood as soon as they can and as often as they can.”

Donors can also assist in the process of keeping everyone safe by making appointments to donate at kybloodcenter.org, the statement said, and completing their health history questionnaire online on the day of their donation utilizing KBC’s QuickPass tool. These steps will streamline the donor experience in-center or at mobile blood drive locations. Walk-ins are always welcome.

A number of community blood drives remain scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. In addition, KBC has worked with community partners to add several pop-up blood drives to assist with the urgent need.

For the most current listing of blood drives, visit www.kybloodcenter.org. If your business or community is interested in hosting a blood drive to help with the urgent need, call, 800-775-2522.

KBC is monitoring information about the coronavirus and will take additional steps as necessary, the statement said.

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