BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of events have been canceled- including blood drives. But that doesn’t mean there’s any less of a need for blood.

“We knew that we needed to keep our blood drives going and we figured out a safe way to do that for our donors so that we can actually ensure the blood supply to Maryland.” said David Marcozi, incident commander with the UMD Medical System.

So the University of Maryland Medical Center and Baltimore campus partnered to make sure it’s monthly blood drive went on as planned.

Things just had to be done a little differently to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

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All donors also have had to wear masks. While there was certainly a lot of concern about coming out to public events during this outbreak, that didn’t stop people from signing up.

“I think there’s a public health need for blood donations, I mean, I know I feel a little bit more of a duty than maybe I usually would.” Alison Raffman, a donor, said.

In fact, the Medical Center already filled all the slots they could for this three-day blood drive.

“We really weren’t sure what the response would be but the community has just been wonderful.” said Anne Williams, director of community health improvement at UMD Medical System.

82 people are set to donate blood at the drive, and that could save up to 700 lives.

“Really the best thing we can do right now is not do anything and stay home so this felt like one really small thing that I could do.”  Bianca Palmisano, a donor, said.

And the Medical Center’s next blood drive will be held on April 7.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller

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