Springfield2BUNKER HILL - State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is calling on healthy, eligible individuals in Central Illinois to help replenish the state’s blood supply, which is facing a sharp decline due to the high number of canceled blood drives and appointments in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"As the blood supply in Central Illinois declines to critical levels, patients continue to rely on blood transfusions to stay alive or make it through emergency surgery for ongoing medical challenges unrelated to COVID-19," Manar said. "This pandemic has led to a dramatic drop in the number of donations, and that could directly threaten the lives of individuals who need blood. So we need healthy people to step up in a safe way to help their neighbors.​"

Medical professionals at the American Red Cross have reiterated that blood donation is safe and does not pose any risk of contracting the virus.

Due to its critical need for donations, the Springfield-based Central Illinois Community Blood Center has extended its donor center’s operating hours.

“This crisis is going to present a number of challenges to our healthcare system that will require a strong community effort. This is one of them,” Manar said. “I encourage all healthy, eligible individuals to step up and help fill the void of blood donations.”

To make an appointment to donate blood with the Red Cross, residents can visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 800-733-2767. For an appointment with the Central Illinois Community Blood Center, call 217-753-1530 or visit bloodcenter.org.

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