U.P. Regional Blood Center: it’s safe to donate blood amid COVID-19 pandemic

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Upper Peninsula is currently in “severely critical” need of all blood types, according to the U.P. Regional Blood Center.

However, some people are questioning if it is safe to donate blood during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local 3 spoke with Rachel Heath, the coordinator of blood collections at U.P. Regional Blood Center. She wants to assure those who want to donate blood, that it is in fact safe. But that is also safe for those who will receive the blood.

“It’s all healthy people coming in here, and we definitely need healthy people to come to donate blood. This is the time that we are going to need it. We don’t know what’s going to happen, we need our blood supply to be at a maximum and safe,” said Heath.

Prior to giving blood, Heath stated that the center provides a health screening. This includes a 51-question questionnaire that asks things like “Are you feeling well today?”, “What medications are you taking?”, and about your travel history. A mini-physical is also done that checks a potential donor’s hemoglobin, blood pressure, temperature, and pulse.

The U.P. Regional Blood Center is doing its best not to cancel blood drives during this time. You can visit their Facebook page or website for center details and up-to-date blood drive locations and hours.

The center has collection sites in Marquette, Hancock, Escanaba, Sault Ste. Marie and is the primary supplier of blood to 13 U.P. hospitals.

Anyone who donates with the center in the next few weeks, their name will be put into a drawing for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

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