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Editorial: Blood donations needed more now during pandemic

Blood donations are typically down at this time of year because of winter weather and seasonal illness, but combine that with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has become even more challenging to maintain a healthy blood supply.

Blood is needed in case of emergencies, surgeries, treatments and other causes and is critical to have in good supply.

We ask those who are healthy and able to donate to consider doing so in an upcoming blood drive.

Freeborn County has a handful of opportunities through the American Red Cross available in February:

• Noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 4, Bridge Community Church

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 5, United Methodist Church

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 12, Albert Lea Family Y

• 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 1, Geneva Community Center

People who donate blood at this time will also have their blood tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Some people may have had coronavirus without developing symptoms, and this test would show whether that was the case.

Plasma from people who have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies can be transfused into patients who are fighting the virus and has in many cases helped their outcomes.

While there are many people who can be helped through blood donations, we hope people will keep in mind the pressing nature at this time given the ongoing pandemic.