As the coronavirus sweeps the city, Mayor de Blasio is calling on New Yorkers to donate blood.
“Giving blood is essential,” he said Sunday during a media availability. “So we need New Yorkers to step forward. Go to any New York blood center site in the city.”
The home page for the New York Blood Center has an alert saying there’s an urgent need for blood and platelet donors for coronavirus emergency preparedness.
The center said there is no evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion. “It is safe to donate blood, and we encourage healthy individuals to donate so that blood is available for those patients who need,” it says on the site.
For more information call 1 (800) 933-2566 or visit nybc.org.
The blood center is asking donors to self-screen before coming in to donate. NYBC is telling people not to donate if they have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, had close contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 in the last 14 days or have been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 until 28 days after the illness has resolved. The blood center does not test for the coronavirus.
People can donate if they are 17 years old — 16 with written consent from a parent or legal guardian — weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health. Donors 76 and older can continue to donate if they meet eligibility criteria and present a physician’s letter allowing them to donate. In the absence of a letter, they must be cleared by an NYBC medical director at each location.