Coronavirus has affected over 7,000 blood drives. Here is how to give.

The spread of the coronavirus has disrupted all walks of life. It has also caused the cancellation of thousands of blood drives nationwide, which has resulted in more than 200,000 fewer blood donations.

Blood centers throughout the country are facing a rapid decline in the ability to replenish blood supplies. The need is growing at an alarming rate.

A Red Cross clinic in Boston, Massachusetts.(Courtesy of Rita Roy)

In Florida, the Red Cross does not collect blood. It partners with OneBlood, a nonprofit that provides safe and affordable blood to more than 250 hospital partners and their patients throughout the Sunshine State and in areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

OneBlood has strict distancing and sterilization guidelines to keep donors safe.

“These guidelines are helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to anyone who wants to donate during this time of the pandemic crisis,” said Grace Meinhofer, regional director of marketing and communications for the American Red Cross South Florida Region and U.S Virgin Islands.

This national blood shortage raises the issue of helping patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, as well as patients dealing with severe forms of cancer.

The virus has taken a nationwide toll on blood drives due to the fear of possible quarantine. “My husband and I donate blood every year but I expect heading to the clinic today will look more like a ghost town,” said Rita Roy, a blood donor living in Boston.

Social distancing, a term that has been more than hammered by the media, has influenced the donor turnout.

One blood clinic in South Florida. Photo courtesy of Rick Munroe.

In the midst of uncertainty, the American Red Cross is encouraging all healthy, eligible donors to go out and save lives, using their #SFLBloodChallenge.

Below is a list of South Florida locations and their hours. For more information see the OneBlood website:

Perrine Donor Center
14413 South Dixie Highway
Miami, FL 33176
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Kendall Donor Center
8232 Mills Drive
Miami, FL 33183
10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Miami Bird Road Donor Center
6720 Bird Road
Miami, FL 33155
7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Ft. Lauderdale-Commercial Donor Center
989 E. Commercial Blvd.
Oakland Park, FL 33334
Phone: (954) 233-0657
Fax: (954) 776-0433

Coral Springs Donor Center
1855 University Dr. Suite 1827
Coral Springs, FL 33071
(954) 282-5195

Pompano Beach Donor Center
926 East Sample Road
Pompano Beach, FL 33064
Phone: (954) 283-1198
Fax: (954) 782-5709

Jordan Coll is from Miami and is currently majoring in journalism with a minor in philosophy. He enjoys reading and meeting new people from all walks of life. His deeply embedded passions are  music, photography, travel and keeping up with current events.