As public health officials learn more about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), they continue to encourage social distancing as the best way to curb its spread.
WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages everyone to stay home and avoid non-essential travel. If you must go in public for essentials, practice social distancing — that is, maintaining physical space around you — by:
- Keeping at least 6 feet away from others.
- Avoiding gathering in groups, including at a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops or any other place. This applies to people of all ages; children too shouldn’t have in-person playdates.
- Staying out of crowded places.
You can still stay connected while staying away. Tips include:
- Following the directions of local authorities.
- Using delivery services for prescriptions and groceries when possible. If you must go out, use a cloth face cover and stay 6 feet away from others.
- Connecting virtually with loved ones through phone and video calls, texts or social media.
COMMITMENT TO SAFETY Blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of our communities. During this uncertain time, the American Red Cross encourages healthy individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets to help keep a stable blood supply throughout this pandemic. Right now, African American blood donors are critically needed to help patients battling sickle cell disease, following a significant decrease in diverse donors amid this coronavirus outbreak.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. To ensure the health of staff and donors, precautions include:
- Checking temperatures of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process.
- Following social distancing between donors including entry, donation and refreshment areas.
- Ensuring face masks or coverings are worn by both staff and donors.
- Routinely disinfecting surfaces, equipment and donor-touched areas.
- Wearing gloves, and changing gloves often.
- Using sterile collection sets and an aseptic scrub for every donation.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD This is a time to take care of one another. If you are feeling well, please make an appointment to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
FIND COVID-19 SAFETY UPDATES Visit redcross.org/coronavirus for more information on COVID-19 safety. For the latest information, please visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/covid19. If you live outside the United States, health and safety tips can be found through the World Health Organization and by following your local Red Cross or Red Crescent society’s social media channels (directory).