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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Annual Red Cross blood drive canceled due to COVID

    By Ashley Voong | Staff Writer

       Despite the cancellation of Gabrielino High School’s annual American Red Cross blood drive as a result of COVID-19, students are still able to give blood at local donation centers.

       In partnership with the Red Cross, a non-profit organization that provides crisis relief and services, Gabrielino’s blood drive is typically a one-day event in which health professionals come to the campus to draw blood from student and staff donors.

       This year, as an alternative to organizing a blood drive, Gabrielino’s Associated Student Body (ASB) and Red Cross Club promoted the donation of blood at local centers on their social media accounts.

       Senior Joanna Ngo, Red Cross Club president, said, “Although it’s unfortunate that we can’t host the blood drive at Gabrielino this year, I strongly encourage everyone to still participate at local centers, considering we have a really good turnout every year.”

       The donation process takes about 30 minutes on average per person and, with just one donation, up to three lives may be saved.

       According to the American National Red Cross, “every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and each year a total of 4.5 million lives are saved by blood transfusions. Blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer.”

       Students who meet the eligibility requirements are able to volunteer to donate their blood.

       The eligibility requirements include being at the minimum age of 17, or at the age of 16 with parental consent. A donor must also be in good health and meet the average weight level to match their gender and height.

       Normally, the Red Cross has restrictions for people with certain illnesses. However, the one exception the Red Cross is making this year is for people who have fully recovered from COVID-19.

       “These survivors may contain COVID-19 antibodies in the plasma of their blood that can attack the virus and help save the lives of those currently battling this disease,” according to the American National Red Cross.

       During the donation process, the Red Cross professionals will be taking safety precautions. This includes temperature checks before entering, requiring face masks, spacing beds six feet apart, wiping down donor touched areas, and having hand sanitizer available.

       The Red Cross will accept all blood types to help as many in need as possible and an appointment can be scheduled through the Red Cross website.

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    Annual Red Cross blood drive canceled due to COVID