Fairbanks Blood Bank seeking donors, seeing decline amid pandemic

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska. (KTVF) The Blood Bank of Alaska is trying to keep up with their need, but with the pandemic, are seeing a decline in donations.

A donor giving blood at the Blood Bank of Alaska in Fairbanks. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)

One blood donor says he donates about four times a year, and just does it when he thinks of it. "Today I was across the street at AIH and I saw the parking lot was empty, because I hate coming here and having to wait. I always wait until the parking lot is empty," said blood donor Greg Chapin.

While Courtney Reynolds with the Blood Bank of Alaska says for others, it can be a new and scary experience. "If you're nervous to donate, I promise it's not as bad as you might think it is," said Reynolds.

Now there is another issue on people's minds of whether they should be leaving the house to donate when they are trying to stay at home during the pandemic.

"People are scared. We are a first response so we absolutely need to keep blood coming in the doors. It’s for the safety of the entire community, with the virus going around and also the other normal casual everyday accidents and needs that we usually have going on," said Reynolds.

Reynolds says they are taking extra steps to keep the center safe for the donors.

"We have upped our cleaning, and are taking precautions so people have less, ya know, not touching as many services and cleaning afterwards, so people are less nervous to come in, we still need donors though for the cause," said Reynolds.

As long as you are feeling healthy and are eligible, you can donate, said Reynolds.

As the community grapples with the effects of the virus, the Blood Bank of Alaska says there will continue to be a need for blood.

For more information on how to donate, call 456-5645 or go to their website.

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