While the COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to many things, it hasn’t stopped the need for blood donations – in fact, the need is now greater. According to Kristen Boyle, donor recruitment account representative at the American Red Cross Blood Services here in Columbia, while we aren’t currently in a blood shortage, “we’re barely keeping the shelves full” and are “in a position where a shortage could happen.”
Looking for some quick reasons to donate? ○ Every two seconds someone in America needs blood. ○ The blood donation from one person has the potential to save three lives. ○ The American Red Cross is providing free COVID-19 antibody testing with all blood donations for a limited time.
This week, we talked with Kristen about blood donation, the current need + donating in a pandemic.
🩸 Can you tell me about the current need for blood? I think what people forget is that the need never stops. One thing that people ask me all the time is “Do you guys need blood?” We always need blood. Hospital patients, cancer patients, sickle cell patients – their needs never stop, even for COVID.
Twenty percent of our donations come from schools, which were cancelled in February. So all those drives we would have had from March into June didn’t happen. And then we began to see churches cancelling their services. A lot of churches have their blood drives on Sundays following services; so those didn’t happen. And then we saw businesses + corporate offices sending their employees home to work. So those blood drives were cancelled as well.
🩸 Is it safe to donate blood right now? It is absolutely safe to donate blood right now. Blood donations are covered under essential services for medical reasons. The CDC, the FDA, local government agencies like DHEC, have all said that not only are blood drives safe, but they’re necessary.
The American Red Cross hastaken every precautionwe can to protect the safety of donors, our staff and volunteers. We take everyone’s temperature before we let them in, whether they’re a donor, staff or volunteer. Everyone is provided a face mask; there is social distancing at every point of the blood drive – everything is spaced six feet apart. We also sanitize all of the surfaces throughout the blood drive.
You also can’t transmit a respiratory illness through a blood transfusion. So it is completely safe.
○ Richland County School District Oneannouncedtwo options for students to go back to school with all students beginning the school year online. The first option will be entirely online the whole school year, the alternative is a phased attendance option where students will begin online and slowly return to a classroom setting later in the year. (The State)
○ Mobile hotspots + monthly internet access will be available to at least 100,000 SC families with priority given to households in counties with a school district having a poverty rate of 86%,as defined by the SC Department of Education. (WIS)
○ Richland School District Twoannounced that phase one for its schools will include students beginning the school year virtually. In the first phase students can choose between e-learning optionsavailable at their school or the R2ESchools Virtual Program, which was designed for families + children with underlying health concerns. The E-learning option includes a physical component or a space unique to each school. (WLTX)
○ SC Department of Employment and Workforcehas extendedthe state unemployment benefits an additional six weeks on top of the ten extra weeks announced at the beginning of July. SCDEW will notify eligible people if they are able to apply for the additional assistance. (WIS)
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Hey, there. Looking for today’s #MustDo events? In accordance with the
CDC’s recommendations regarding public gatherings, we have decided to postpone public event coverage for the time being. We look forward to bringing you Columbia’s #MustDo events soon (until then, feel free to submit your virtual events
Just an hour + a half up the road, Charlotte is welcoming the newest MLS expansion team. Charlotte FC is expected to kick off in 2022 + will play at the Bank of America Stadium in Uptown Charlotte.
The team’s colors will be blue, black, silver and white + the crest (pictured in Charlotte’s “O” above) recognizes the city’s history of coin-making and financial capital status.
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Weather ○ 94º | Partly cloudy | 20%chance of rain
Civic ○ Yesterday, a temporary restraining orderwas placed on the SAFE Grants, which were announced by Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday, until a court hearing can take place. The order follows a lawsuit filed by an Orangeburg County Circuit Court Judge which claims the grants go against Title IX. Read more about the lawsuit here. (WLTX)
Announced ○ The City of Cayce announced new, interpretive wayside exhibits coming to the Cayce Riverwalk and the 12,000 Year History Park. The project was a collaboration between the City of Cayce, The River Alliance, the South Carolina State Museum + the Central Carolina Community Foundation. The city was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Central Carolina Community Foundation and matched it with $10,000 from hospitality taxes to fund the project.
Cause ○ Empower SCannounced the Harden Food Justice Initiative yesterday, which will provide the Harden Street/Waverly community with healthy, fresh food with a drive-thru market on July 31. Through a partnership with EveryBlackGirl and Good Trouble, Empower SC is aiming to not only feed the community, but create infrastructure for lasting food justice. ○ TheRonald McDonald House Charities of Columbia will be at the McDonald’s at 4324 Sunset Blvd. tomorrow from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to promote Round Up – an initiative that encourages customers to round up their total for donations. Ronald McDonald House donations go towards keeping families together when children are in the hospital.
NowOpen ○ A new Food Lionis now open in the deserted Bi-Lo, whose building has been empty since March 2019, on Emanuel Church Road in West Columbia. The store announced it will sell local products, like Cromer’s popcorn and Iron City Coffee, along with its traditional brands. (The State)
WaterCooler ○ The former Gamecock football punter, Joseph Charlton, has signed with the Carolina Panthers. Joseph currently holds UofSC’s record for career punting average. (WIS)
TryThis ○ Cromer’sannounced a new monthly subscription box to satisfy your salty cravings. Each box will include six different snacks + will be shipped to your door.
Edu ○ Students at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical Collegenow have access to a state-of-the-art orbital welder – helping prepare them for advanced manufacturing jobs– thanks to Nephron Pharmaceuticals. Ⓟ
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