Concerns continue to grow among blood donation centers as more donations are expected to be lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the Mississippi Valley Blood Center (MVBC) expected to lose approximately 10,000 to 13,000 donations due to the pandemic. Director of Donor and Public Relations Amanda Hess says the MVBC expects to lose around 20,000 donations from March through Labor Day, due to donation locations such as schools, nursing homes, and businesses cancelling their blood drive events. Hess also says that in order to replenish the dwindling supply of red blood cell units, the MVBC would have to collect 3,500 units of red blood cells every week between now and September. At this time, they are expected to collect about 3,000 units a week through Labor Day, not enough to meet the current blood demand. Some blood drives are scheduled in Washington County in August, Hess encourages community members to get out and donate where they can, “I talk to a lot of people in the communities that we serve and folks that have never given before. The one thing they always say is ‘If somebody that I love needed blood, I would give,’ Or, ‘If something happened, I would give.’ The reality is people need blood every single day. Blood is like a parachute, if it’s not there for you on the hospital shelf when you need it, it’s too late. It’s the people that gave yesterday, and last week, and last month, those donors are the ones that save lives today. The people that already gave because they felt it was the right thing to do and they knew that someone would need it, they just didn’t know who.” Blood donation events across Washington County are set to be held in August. The KC Hall in Washington will hold a public blood drive on August 6 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Appointment times are still available and can be reserved on the Mississippi Valley Blood Center website by clicking here.