Cincinnati Blood Center Encourages Donations In Preparation For COVID-19

Mar 9, 2020

With the spread of COVID-19, some Cincinnati area groups are canceling their blood drives over fears of spreading the disease. Now the University of Cincinnati's Hoxworth Blood Center is calling on healthy people to donate.

The spread of COVID-19, a strain of the coronavirus, is causing a shortage of blood products in the United States. The center is supplying various parts of the U.S. with blood along with the usual 30 Cincinnati area hospitals.

Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted Monday afternoon that Ohio had its first three cases of coronavirus. "It's important for us to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans, and therefore I have declared a state of emergency in Ohio."

According to it's 2 p.m. update, the Ohio Department of Health has put 255 people under health supervision. So far, eight people are currently under investigation and 11 have tested negative. In Kentucky, four people have tested positive and are all in isolation, according to Governor Andy Beshear. Indiana also has confirmed cases.

The blood center isn't projecting large gatherings at upcoming drives. Before blood is drawn, mini physicals are done to ensure the health of the donor.   

So far four Cincinnati area blood drives have been canceled. Chief Medical Officer David Oh says it's important to keep up with the demand. "Giving today will help us weather out the storm of increased cancellations and decreased donors coming out to donate," he says.

ODH's protocol is to update its website with positive or negative results before 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Local health districts and ODH say they will release information as needed to protect the public and privacy of people who fall ill.

If you want to take preventative measures against coronavirus, the state health department recommends:

- Washing your hands often with soap and water

- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

-Avoid close contact with people who are sick

- Stay home when you are sick

-Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash.

This story is developing and will be updated.