As hospitalizations increase due to the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged blood donations Thursday to assist healthcare centers amid an escalated need.
Pritzker said a way to further assist hospitals during the second coronavirus wave is to donate blood, as less people have been giving during the pandemic.
"Fewer people than usual are giving blood during the pandemic, yet there
are still patients in need of transfusions, including those who need surgery,
are undergoing cancer treatments, have chronic conditions such as sickle
cell or for those who experience accidents or trauma," Pritzker said.
Blood collection is traditionally low during the holidays, but the added pandemic has only lessened the number of people donating, the governor said.
To find a location to donate blood, click here to visit the American Red Cross website and enter your zipcode under "Find a Drive."
Pritzker reminded that all of Illinois will enter Tier 3 of mitigation efforts as of Friday, meaning officials are asking people to only leave home for necessary activities such as school, work and grocery shopping.
The governor said the new mitigations are temporary in efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and provide healthcare workers with relief as cases, deaths and hospitalization numbers grow statewide.
The state's health department said officials will track metrics over the next 14 days to determine "if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place."
In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, it must see a seven-day test positivity average below 12% for three consecutive days, more than 20% availability for intensive care units and hospital beds for three consecutive days, and a decline in seven-day hospitalization average for at least seven days.
“There is no denying that the state is headed in the wrong direction with increased cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “There also is no denying that reducing the opportunities for the virus to spread can reverse our direction. This includes staying home as much as possible, wearing a mask and keeping social distance when we do have to go out, and not gathering with people outside our households. Until a vaccine is widely available and people understand the importance of being vaccinated, we must continue to take preventive actions to stop the transmission of the virus. Right now, our preventive actions are the best way to prevent new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.”
For a full list of Tier 3 mitigations, click here.