(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Community Blood Center held a blood drive at East Hills Mall for St. Joseph's second annual, 'Blood Donor Day.'
“I by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the city of St. Joseph do hereby proclaim Wednesday, August 19th as Blood Donor Day here in St. Joseph, Missouri,” said Bill McMurray, St. Joseph Mayor.
The drive aims to spark more people to donate during the COVID-19 pandemic which staff said has caused a significant drop in blood donations.
“There’s still tragedies, there’s still surgeries and there are still patients that are ill. During this time, we still need the blood as much as we always do,” said Pamela Holman, Community Blood Center's Site Manager.
Donors who showed up early to the drive said donating is a simple way to help people in desperate need.
“It doesn’t take very much time and there’s always a need and it’s painless. It doesn’t hurt like you think it would,” said Amy BeBee, blood donor.
CBC required 600 blood donors everyday to meet the needs of the 65 area hospitals they serve.
Staff said cancelling the mobile blood drives have been the biggest factor in the drop in donations, "We have to have them in locations where people can maintain their six foot distancing and that’s made it difficult and lowered collections quite significantly,” said Holman.
CBC staff encourage people to donate blood and ensure safety precautions are being met to keep donors safe.
“All of our employees are wearing a mask, our donors are wearing a mask and we are maintaining a six foot distance between the donors," said Holman.
Donors are required to wear a mask and staff are taking temperatures at the entrance, as well as cleaning in between donations. Safety precautions that donors said made them feel safe donating.
“Absolutely, as long as people are wearing their masks and do the screening, it’s a safe environment,” said Bebee.
The blood drive at East Hills Mall goes until 7 p.m. Wednesday evening.