(Hyannis, MA – March 18, 2020) - Over the past week, blood centers throughout the country are experiencing a significant drop in donations which is limiting the ability for the nation’s blood supply to be adequately replenished. Jonathan DeCoste, senior blood donor recruiter at Cape Cod Healthcare has emphasized, “The Cape Cod Healthcare Blood Program continues to need blood. We are still running the same drives and hours that we have scheduled on our calendar. While all types are needed, we are especially in need of O negative” said DeCoste. Blood centers are regulated by the FDA and must follow specific guidelines to ensure donor safety at all times. Wednesday March 18, 10am-4pm Bloodmobile - Mugar Entrance of Cape Cod Hospital Thursday, March 19, 9am-3pm Stoneman Outpatient Center, Sandwich Monday, March 30, 9am-3pm Federated Church, Cotuit The list of drives can be found at https://www.capecodhealth.org/ways-to-give/blood-center/ The scheduled drives are updated regularly so be sure to check back for up to the minute schedule changes. Information can also be found on the Cape Cod Healthcare Facebook page. To minimize contact with others, all donations are by appointment only. Call 508-86BLOOD (862-5663) or schedule online within the individual donation page events. It’s important for people to know the coronavirus does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives. The Nicholas G. Xiarhos Blood Donor Center at Cape Cod hospital continues to schedule platelet donations by appointment. Note: When platelet donors arrive, they will be screened at the main entrance. The center is also available for blood donations by in-hospital employees. “We have modified our travel deferral policy - due to the coronavirus outbreak in numerous countries throughout Europe, Asia and India, we are taking precautions to defer blood donors who have traveled to areas with widespread or ongoing community spread for 28 days from the date of departure from these countries based on CDC level 3 travel notices,” noted DeCoste. This is subject to change based on the CDC’s daily updates. “It is safe to donate blood,” said Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D. Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Part of preparedness includes a robust blood supply. Healthy individuals should schedule an appointment to donate today to ensure that blood is available for those patients who need it,” said Giroir. The FDA has reiterated that there have been no reported or suspected cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus and the virus poses no known risk to patients receiving blood transfusions. About Cape Cod Healthcare Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 5,700 employees and 790 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare has two acute care hospitals, the Cape’s leading provider of homecare and hospice services (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility, four urgent care centers and numerous health programs. For more information, visit Cape Cod Healthcare’s web site at www.capecodhealth.org. Cape Cod Healthcare. Visit our health news site www.capecodhealthnews.com for the latest in relevant and credible healthcare news.