TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy and Superintendent of State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan Thursday announced an Administrative Order that permits blood donation drives to continue in order to meet the critical medical needs of New Jersey residents. In order to operate, blood drives must undertake appropriate mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including incorporating social distancing where practicable.
“Blood donation drives are a vital and essential activity that our health care systems rely on to complete surgeries, treatments, and critical care,” Murphy said. “The COVID-19 outbreak threatens to disrupt our blood supply and we must continue these operations to ensure that we can meet the critical medical needs of all New Jersey residents.”
“I know so many of us feel helpless in the face of this particular crisis, so there is something you can do to help those in need. I urge you to contact Bergen Regional Community Blood Center, New Jersey Blood Services, or the American Red Cross and make an appointment to give,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “There are locations throughout the state with flexible hours to accommodate our communities.
It’s one concrete way we can all roll up our sleeves and help if you’re in good health and you’re feeling well. If you don’t feel well on the day of your scheduled appointment, please cancel your donation. But if you’re in good health and feeling well, please donate blood to help our communities.”
The Administrative Order clarifies the following:
- Pursuant to paragraph 5 of Executive Order No. 107 (2020), in order to facilitate the continued availability of blood donation resources to meet the medical needs of New Jersey residents, blood drives are exempt from the terms and conditions of the Order regarding gatherings.
- Blood drives may continue to operate but must undertake appropriate mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including incorporating social distancing where practicable, collecting blood only from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation, conducting temperature screens of both staff and donors before entering a blood drive, requiring the use of PPE, providing hand sanitizer to donors for use before the drive and during the donation process, and frequently sanitizing equipment and work spaces.
- It is further clarified that nothing in Executive Order No. 107 (2020) limits, prohibits, or restricts the ability of New Jersey residents to participate in blood drives, including leaving their homes or places of residences to do so.
“The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need,” Rosie Taravella, CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region said. “Blood donation is essential. During this uncertain time, we encourage individuals to keep scheduled blood donation appointments and to make new appointments for the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic. Our sincere appreciation to the many here in New Jersey who gave blood, scheduled upcoming appointments and those who are hosting blood drives. It’s thanks to you and generous donors across the country, the American Red Cross has been able to meet immediate patient needs.”