Erie County still needs blood donors

Posted at 11:39 AM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 11:39:21-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Less than one week ago, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncraz said the county had less than a five day supply of blood. That’s because blood drives all across the county have been canceling due to coronavirus concerns.

“Nobody knows how long this is gonna last, but with us providing 70, 75% of the local blood supply to the hospitals, it’s so important that we keep the shelves stocked," Partner Relations Associate at ConnectLife, Melanie Brem said.

So ConnectLife decided to keep their blood drive open. But, Noel Dill, sponsor of the Connect Life Blood Drive said he was a little worried because seniors in the western New York area are some of the most reliable donors

“Unfortunately, our group in particular has been told to stay home, shelter in place, don’t go outside. That’s the governors words," Dill said. "And that’s very difficult when those are the people that are donating blood.”

But in typical Western New York fashion, other members of the community are stepping up. Brem says this past Wednesday alone, she has processed more than 200 donors.

“We have had such an outpouring of support from western New Yorkers," she said. "There’s literally been a line outside the door today which is wonderful.”

Brem says right now the county's blood supply is stable, but with the uncertainties surrounding this pandemic, she is encouraging western New Yorkers to continue donating.

“The hard part is that we don’t have an end date for this. So while we’re stabilizing right now, this is a long game," Bream said. We’ve got to keep stabilizing for the next month or so. Make sure the people who need it most have it when they need it.”

ConnectLife is hosting another blood drive on March 28 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ConnectLife Headquarters (4444 Bryant and Stratton Way, Williamsville, NY 14221). If you are interested in donating blood, you must make an appointment at 716-529-4270.