The need for blood doesn’t go away, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of now, the blood supply in Oklahoma is sufficient, according to Jessy Dershem, executive director of Oklahoma Blood Institute’s Enid Donor Center. Demand has fallen recently, as hospitals have cut back on many non-time-sensitive procedures.

But, the state could be facing a shortage if donations don’t continue, and if blood drives are canceled.

The state’s blood supply could be critically low in two weeks, Dershem said.

OBI donors provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 160 hospitals statewide, including Integris Bass Baptist Health Center and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Enid.

What needs to happen, Dershem said, is for donors to continue giving if they are healthy.

The Enid center doesn’t need hundreds of people to show up all at once, it just needs a steady pace of donations.

OBI is taking extra precautions to protect donors and staff, including:

• All people, donors and staff, entering a donor center or mobile blood drive will have their temperature taken.

• Donor beds are being spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart.

• Screening areas are being spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart.

The Enid Donor Center, 301 E. Cherokee, is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday; and on Sunday by appointment only.

For a list of blood drives in the area, and to schedule donation appointments, visit https://obi.org, call (877) 340-8777, or in Enid call (580) 233-9323. Appointments are not required to donate.

We hope those donors who are healthy consider giving. Every donation is a lifesaver.

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