GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — We Are Blood had 33 slots open for their mobile blood drive Monday morning at Georgetown High School, and donors filled them all.
It’s the first of two mobile blood drives set to take place during the first half of April.
Melinda Brasher, communications executive director for Georgetown ISD, expressed her elation in her email to KXAN.
“We’re thrilled at the community response,” she said.
And so is We Are Blood Donor Engagement Manager, Tom Meade.
“Under the current situation, we’ve had a lot of success in our outlying communities — places like Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, San Marcos, Kyle, Bastrop,” he said.
But he’s also cautious to say so.
“Throughout the coronavirus situation, we’ve seen a large number of cancellations on our mobile drives,” he said.
Other communities have “welcomed” the mobile blood drives to help rebound.
“Having the opportunity to come out to locations like Georgetown High School… has been fantastic to help us maintain our blood supply,” Meade said.
A blood supply that KXAN has reported on before. We Are Blood reported donations were down by 1,200 a week before the end of March 2020.
“The community really has responded to the call and the need for blood during this time,” Meade said. “Our donation centers are actually filled on appointments throughout the next week, and our mobile drives, basically week-to-week, are filling up every appointment.”
But the need continues.
“This is something that’s ongoing, not just during these difficult times but in normal conditions,” Meade said. “We’re in constant need of blood donations.”
Success in safety
Staff practiced social distancing as donors walked in and out of the bus to give blood. We Are Blood is taking process precautions.
During this time we’ve put in some additional policies and procedures to protect our staff and our donors. These safety procedures primarily are focused on increased wipe downs of the buses, where are staff are going constantly through the bus wiping down any hard surfaces or any equipment that donors or staff might be touching on a regular basis. We’ve also instituted policy where any donor who enters the bus must use hand sanitizer right away. This kind of gives us a little bit of a baseline in terms of everyone’s hands being clean when they begin to touch equipment. On top of that, one of the biggest things we have done is we’ve eliminated walk-in appointments at our mobile drives and at our donation centers. What this does is allows us to manage the donor flow better and make sure that we’re being more systematic in how people are moving through our buses and centers, and keeping spacing between donors and staff as best we can.Meade
They are also taking precautions in advance of donors entering the buses.
“We’re asking anyone who doesn’t feel well, if they’re feeling ill at all, to stay home. This is the same request that we’re making of our staff at this time,” Meade said. “Our staff are being told if they’re not feeling well, that they should call in sick. We’re providing them with paid sick time so that there’s no pressure for them to come to work.”
Monday’s blood drive ends at 4 p.m. Georgetown HS will host another on April 13. Two buses will be there to accommodate appointments. There are 38 slots per each of those buses — all are filled. They’re contemplating scheduling more on future Mondays as long as the pandemic lasts.
If you’d like to host a mobile blood drive or make an appointment, please visit We Are Blood’s website.