Coronavirus Update: NY Blood Center needs to maintain supply amid COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The New York Blood Center is extending open hours at its donor centers and urging healthy donors to make appointments to help maintain the region's blood supply.

Blood collection sites are disinfected frequently and are taking extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19 as per CDC recommendations.

NYBC staff are also practicing health self-assessments prior to presenting at work.

Related: Surgeon General urges US citizens to donate blood to help during coronavirus crisis

As always, people are not eligible to donate if they're experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. The blood center does not test for coronavirus.

"Around 75% of our incoming blood supply was interrupted when schools, businesses and religious institutions closed due to the coronavirus outbreak," said Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, President and CEO of New York Blood Center. "By quickly implementing this sustainable long-term solution we have worked to prevent our blood supply from dropping to dangerously low levels."

Blood is perishable and the supply must be continually replenished.

NYBC operates 19 donor centers across New York and New Jersey. Donors can schedule appointments by calling 1-800-933-2566 or visiting nybc.org/coronavirus.

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