Despite pandemic, K-State and the Red Cross move forward with annual campus blood drive

This year, donors must make an appointment to participate in the annual Red Cross blood drive at K-State. (Archive photo | Collegian Media Group)

The Red Cross returns to the Kansas State campus for their annual blood drive Sept. 14 to Sept. 17 in the K-State Student Union Ballroom and the Tallgrass Ballroom in Kramer Dining Center.

Jane Hale, external communications director for the Red Cross, said in order to comply with regulations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, donors are required to schedule an appointment.

Donation centers will follow the highest standards of safety and infection control during the pandemic — including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings, Hale said.

“Staff will be wearing gloves and sanitizing between each donation,” Grayson Gilbert, junior in mass communications and social media manager for the blood drive, said. “Additionally, there will be multiple sanitizer stations at each drive location.”

Although some donors expressed concerns about donating in a pandemic, many remain optimistic about the event.

Anna Olander, senior in life sciences, donated at past K-State blood drives. She said the pandemic won’t discourage her from giving blood because she sees the need.

“COVID-19 wasn’t a concern for me to donate,” Olander said. “I think those who might be worried could be comforted by the lengths the drive is taking to keep others safe.”

Scheduling appointments for the drive can affect the time and locations donors are eligible to go to. Students and community members can sign up for a time by entering their zip code at the Red Cross website.