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SAINT PAUL, MINN. – Today Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) announced a blood emergency as fears of the COVID-19 Delta Variant drive a drop in donations.

“Our hospitals need our help,” said Kathy Geist, MBC senior executive director. “The long-term impact of the pandemic has meant we’ve had 18 months of smaller and fewer blood drives at schools, businesses, places of worship, and community centers.”

After a chronic blood shortage that lasted throughout the pandemic, donors began to return this summer when vaccines became widespread and restrictions eased. However, with fears of the Delta Variant and waning vaccine immunity growing, organizers are once again limiting community blood drives.

“Since the start of the pandemic we’ve seen far fewer high school or college first-time donors, and only the bare minimum of student blood drives,” Geist continued. Blood collected at high school and college blood drives traditionally account for 17% of total donations.

“As we head into the Labor Day holiday and many people take their final vacations of the summer, we’re facing a real emergency collecting enough blood to supply our local hospitals” said MBC Manager of Donor Recruitment Maryann Malec.

Memorial Blood Centers invites all eligible donors to step up and give blood. Donating blood takes less than an hour and costs nothing. In appreciation for giving blood during this time of need, all presenting donors will be eligible for a thank you gift.

Staff at the blood center continue to take extra precautions to help prevent person-to-person spread of COVID-19, including reimplementing facial covering requirements. Interested donors can learn more about these safety precautions, find out if they’re eligible, or schedule an appointment to give at MBC.ORG or by calling 1-888-448-3253.

About Memorial Blood Centers
Memorial Blood Centers has been saving and sustaining lives since 1948—and relies on the local community to donate blood to help ensure a safe and stable blood supply is available for area hospitals and other partners throughout the country. Memorial Blood Centers is a Minnesota-based, independent nonprofit and a division of New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe)—a family of operating blood center divisions serving communities across the country.