Amid the ongoing challenges of recruiting blood donors during the COVID-19 pandemic, local nonprofit Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) is facing a shortage of blood and platelet donations. 

The need for blood is constant, but due to the pandemic, many drives have been canceled or postponed. To replenish supplies for Northland hospitals, trauma centers, and air ambulance bases, more healthy donors are needed at blood drives and donor centers in the coming weeks. Appointments can be made online at MBC.ORG or by calling 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253). 

More than 50% of the blood supply was lost when community blood drives were cancelled due to COVID-19 this year, and the supply remains low (less than a 3-day supply of all blood types). Blood drives are resuming, with additional precautions at all donation sites; appointments are preferred to help maintain social distancing, and donors are required to wear a face mask or face covering. 

Blood donation is safe and essential, and MBC has a COVID-19 self-screening policy in addition to general eligibility guidelines. In general, you may be eligible to donate if you are:

• In good health

• 17 years or older— or 16 with written parental consent (PDF available on MBC.ORG)

• At least 110 pounds

• Free of antibiotics for 24 hours, unless taken for preventative reasons

• Symptom-free for at least 72 hours following a cold or flu

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