Missouri State University is hosting a Community Blood Center of the Ozarks blood drive Sept. 1-3 in the Plaster Student Union Ballroom.

Due to COVID-19, the blood drive required those there to donate to wear a mask, have their temperatures checked at the door, require social distancing, with seats spaced out at least six feet apart when waiting and at donation stations, and were advised to call to schedule their appointments beforehand. 

“It hasn’t been too different [compared to previous times before COVID-19], I just came to the fact that this is something I needed to do,” said Cela Cassle, sophomore communications major. “There’s hand sanitizer laid out and there’s not as many people here.”

Overall, blood drives in Greene County have seen a decline in those willing to donate because of COVID-19, according to Brad Terry, blood drive consultant of Greene County.

Many of the scheduled blood drives in Greene County were canceled from March to May and through the summer due to businesses, places of gathering and schools shutting down. 

“We lost right around 10,000 pints of scheduled blood just in that time period alone,” said Terry. “We’ve been scrambling ever since just to make it up.”

Terry said blood drives in Greene County are also struggling to find locations to set up since many places are working remotely due to COVID-19.

Since many classes have been moved online, there has been a decline of Missouri State students on campus, resulting in less people attending campus functions such as blood drives.

“I think what you kind of have to realize is that we are coming in contact with people by going to class, and I’m still seeing friends in a safe way of course, but if I’m able to justify that to myself, I should be able to justify giving blood, especially when so many people aren’t giving blood right now, and they really need it,” said Cassle.

Terry shared that on Sept. 1, there were about 70 to 80 people that donated, which was surprising to him. The goal was 250 people, so far they have seen 155. 

Terry encouraged people who have a documented case of COVD-19 to go and donate plasma. 

“If they have a documented case, we actually want them to donate plasma because that has the antibodies in it, and hospitals can treat people who have the coronavirus,” said Terry. “We want them to be symptom-free for two weeks and then donate as much plasma as they can.”

Students can donate plasma at the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, 220 W. Plainview Rd. Students should schedule an appointment by calling 417-227-5000 or visiting cbco.org  

Terry shared that the Community Blood Center needs about 200 pints of blood a day to meet the people’s needs.  

“The need never goes away,” Terry said. “We are asking you, if you are not feeling healthy, get yourself better, but if you are healthy, we want you to donate blood. We are probably the healthiest place to go because we don’t let people in the door that aren’t healthy.”

Students can still donate blood today from 11 a.m-6 p.m. If you are interested in donating blood or learning more, visit www.cbco.org