The Nebraska Community Blood Bank is asking healthy blood and platelet donors to strengthen the region’s blood supply by scheduling and keeping blood donation appointments at its Omaha donor center near 120th and Pacific Streets.

The blood bank, like the American Red Cross, is facing a severe shortage of donors amid the coronavirus crisis, officials said. Most of the blood donated with the blood bank supports patients in Nebraska, including those in Nebraska Medicine and Methodist Health System hospitals.

Donating blood, they said, remains a safe, easy process and is a vital part of community preparedness.

To protect staff and donors, the blood bank is asking donors to screen themselves before arriving to donate. Donors should not go to the center if they have:

  • A fever or other symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Had close contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • Traveled to a country with high transmission of the virus, as defined by the CDC, within the last 14 days.
  • Been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 until 28 days after symptoms have resolved.

The blood bank has added screening questions and cleaning precautions to protect staff and donors. The blood bank also is spacing out appointments and donor beds and is encouraging donors to wait in their cars instead of waiting areas before their appointments.

Donors can make appointments online at ncbb.org or by calling 877-486-9414.

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Julie Anderson is a medical reporter for The World-Herald. She covers health care and health care trends and developments, including hospitals, research and treatments. Follow her on Twitter @JulieAnderson41. Phone: 402-444-1066.

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