June 2, 2020

DAYTON, Ohio - The COVID-19 pandemic has forced severe limits on blood donations over the past three months and Community Blood Center needs heroes to help rebuild the blood supply.

Beginning Tuesday, June 2 CBC will thank all registered donors with a free "Hero - Giver, Lifesaver, Donor" face mask in addition to the free "Wake Up & Give" t-shirt.

Donors must have an appointment and must wear a face mask at CBC blood drives.  Make an appointment at or call (937) 461-3220.

"This summer is full of uncertainties," said CBC Donor Relations Director Tracy Morgan.  "The COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit our activities, even as hospital usage returns to pre-COVID levels. We need the heroic efforts of donors to keep the blood supply strong against the challenges summer always presents, and the continued challenge of COVID-19."

Blood collection fell to historic lows during the height of the pandemic with CBC suffering a projected loss of 7,551 blood units.

From mid-March through May 196 blood drives were cancelled, including 77 percent of the blood drives scheduled in April. Nearly all blood drives that continued as scheduled did so at reduced capacity.

Blood drives were exempted from the stay-at-home order as an essential activity, but they continued with increasing restrictions, including social distancing that limited the number of donors.

Only the dedication of donors and a substantial drop in hospital usage prevented a blood supply crisis.

From mid-March through May, reported blood usage at CBC's partner hospitals fell more than 21 percent. In March alone usage dropped nearly 30 percent from an average of 118 units per day to 83 units per day. Hospital blood usage rose to 104 units per day in May but remained 12 percent below average.

Hospital blood usage is returning to normal with the reopening of activities across the region. Hospitals are reminding the public that hospitals are safe and encouraging people not to delay care.

The rising demand for blood donations comes with the traditional summer challenges. The increase in vacation travel and outdoor activities distract people from donating. There are no high school blood drives during the summer break, and emergency rooms see more accident and trauma cases.

CBC is welcoming experienced and first-time donors to support the summer "Wake Up and Donate Blood Drive" campaign.  Everyone who registers to donate with CBC now through Oct. 31 is automatically entered in the grand prize drawing for a custom-comfort Sleep Number bed.