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COVID-19 causing blood shortages, blood donors needed

Press release from LifeSouth

The impact of COVID-19 continues to affect the local blood supply, as canceled blood drives throughout the coming months are causing a significant drop in donations. 

Many businesses, schools, and churches remain closed during this time, and all typically host drives with LifeSouth. The decrease in blood drives has resulted in a low community blood supply, while the need for blood has rapidly increased as hospitals resume elective surgeries and continue treatments for cancer, other diseases (like sickle cell anemia), and daily traumas. LifeSouth is in need of donors of all blood types, and is in critical need of Type O and B donors.  

 “We are so grateful to our donors who came in to donate as our community was first impacted by COVID-19, and we ask blood donors and those who have not given before to continue to help,” said Brite Whitaker, Director of Outreach with LifeSouth. “We want to make sure the blood is on the shelves when our local patients need it most.”

LifeSouth encourages all eligible donors to book an appointment to donate as soon as possible to ensure a safe and stable blood supply is available for patients. LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is the nonprofit community blood bank that serves many local hospitals, such as UF Health, North Florida Regional Medical Center, and the VA Malcom Randall Medical Center

LifeSouth has remained fully operational throughout the coronavirus pandemic as an essential service provider and assures local donors it is safe to donate blood. The coronavirus does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives, and the organization is taking every precaution to maintain a safe environment for donors and staff in its centers and bloodmobiles. Blood donors are needed every day, and anyone who is in good health is encouraged to donate.

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LifeSouth’s donor centers in Gainesville are located at 1221 NW 13th Street and 4039 Newberry Road. LifeSouth’s bloodmobiles will also be out at many locations in the coming weeks (see below for schedule of upcoming blood drives). All donor centers and bloodmobiles are enforcing social distancing between donors, implementing heightened sanitation protocols, and encouraging donors to wait in their cars until their appointment time. 

Donors must be at least 17 or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also needed. 

For additional information, call LifeSouth toll-free at 888-795-2707 or visit www.lifesouth.org.

Tuesday, May 19

Invivo Diagnostic Imaging 3545 SW 47th Avenue 9 am – 5 pm

Target 3970 SW Archer Road 11 am – 5 pm

The Oaks Mall 6419 Newberry Rd., Oaks Mall Noon – 6 pm

Bivens Cove 3301 SW 13th Street 1 pm – 7 pm

13th Street Donor Center                              1221 NW 13th Street 10 am – 7 pm

Newberry Road Donor Center 4039 Newberry Road 10 am – 7 pm

Alachua Donor Center 15652 NW US Hwy. 441, Alachua 10 am – 7 pm

Wednesday, May 20

US Post Office 4600 SW 34th Street 10 am – 3 pm

4 Rivers Smokehouse 3262 SW 35th Boulevard 10 am – 4 pm

Lowe’s 2564 NW 13th Street 11 am – 5 pm

Paddock Club Apartments 1105 Fort Clarke Boulevard 1 pm – 7 pm

13th Street Donor Center 1221 NW 13th Street 9 am – 5:30 pm

Newberry Road Donor Center 4039 Newberry Road 9 am – 5:30 pm

Alachua Donor Center                                   15652 NW US Hwy. 441, Alachua 9 am – 5:30 pm

Thursday, May 21

Argos Cement Plant, Newberry 4000 NW County Road 235, Newberry 9 am – 5 pm

Kinetix Physical Therapy 2839 SW 87th Drive 10 am – 4 pm

Walmart, Starke 14500 US Hwy. 301 S., Starke 10 am – 5 pm

Lawful Defense 9240 NW 13th Street 11 am – 3 pm

Crafty Bastards 4860 NW 39th Avenue 4 pm – 7 pm

13th Street Donor Center                              1221 NW 13th Street 10 am – 7 pm

Newberry Road Donor Center 4039 Newberry Road 10 am – 7 pm

Alachua Donor Center 15652 NW US Hwy. 441, Alachua 10 am – 7 pm

Friday, May 22

Walmart, Starke 14500 US Hwy. 301 S., Starke 10 am – 6 pm

Best Drugs of Trenton 405 SE 1st Avenue, Trenton 10 am – 4 pm

SweetBerries Eatery & Frozen Custard 505 NW 13th Street Noon – 6 pm

The Oaks Mall 6419 Newberry Rd., Oaks Mall Noon – 6 pm

13th Street Donor Center 1221 NW 13th Street 9 am – 5:30 pm

Newberry Road Donor Center 4039 Newberry Road 9 am – 5:30 pm 

Alachua Donor Center 15652 NW US Hwy. 441, Alachua 9 am – 5:30 pm

Saturday, May 23

Papa John’s Pizza 4220 NW 16th Boulevard 10 am – 5 pm

Tioga Town Center, Jonesville 105 SW 128th Street, Jonesville 11 am – 5 pm

Publix, Alachua 16193 US Highway 441, Alachua Noon – 6:30 pm

Treehouse Village Apartments 117 SE 16th Avenue 1 pm – 7 pm 

13th Street Donor Center 1221 NW 13th Street 9 am – 2 pm

Newberry Road Donor Center 4039 Newberry Road 9 am – 2 pm

Alachua Donor Center 15652 NW US Hwy. 441, Alachua 9 am – 2 pm