Local blood bank extends its hours to encourage donations
AUGUSTA, Ga. – With summer notoriously difficult for community blood banks and the coronavirus pandemic complicating the situation, Shepeard Community Blood Center has extended its business hours through the end of 2020.
These are the new hours at the blood bank’s three donation centers:
Augusta, 1533 Wrightsboro Road: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and closed Sunday.
Evans, 4329 Washington Road: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Aiken, 353 Fabian Drive: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday.
With the continued closure of schools, businesses and churches, daily blood donations have declined even as the need for blood products continues to increase. Blood donors are needed to keep the local blood supply at a healthy level. As Shepeard is the primary supplier of blood and blood products to 23 hospitals in the CSRA, a donation to Shepeard goes directly to a local hospital such as the AU Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Georgia or University Hospital.
All donations through Oct. 1 will be screened for COVID-19 antibodies, and donors will be notified of a positive result.
Donors who screen positive are encouraged to donate plasma that can be used as a treatment for coronavirus patients. Shepeard needs donors with all blood types to donate this plasma, but types B and AB are especially needed. Anyone who is interested in this should complete a brief survey at http://ow.ly/xWY450AxXYc or go to shepeardblood.org for more information.
Shepeard is taking precautions to assure a safe donor experience. In addition to the year-round universal precautions Shepeard has in place, the organization has implemented additional safety measures, including:
- All staff and donors are required to wear a mask.
- Social distancing is practiced.
- Donors are encouraged to make an appointment and use QuickPass to cut down on the number of individuals in the waiting rooms and prevent resource sharing.
Donors must be in good general health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (or 16 with written parental consent). Be sure to bring a photo ID or Shepeard donor card with you when you come to donate.
Call Shepeard at 706-737-4551 for more information or to schedule an appointment.