Volunteer disaster responders with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois responded to 18 fires from Monday, March 16 through today in the Chicago & Northern Illinois area in Deerfield, Harvey, Lockport, Park Forest, North Utica, Rockford and more, with nine of the fires occurring in Chicago including a fire in the 2600 block of S. Wells St. in Chicago that sadly resulted in the loss of life.
In the past week, the Red Cross assisted 64 individuals, including 45 adults and 19 children with temporary housing, food, clothing and comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services and health and mental health services, including six families displaced by an apartment fire in Carol Stream last Monday.
The American Red Cross responds to 3 to 4 home fires every day in Chicago and Northern Illinois, and our volunteers have been working to respond virtually to fires whenever possible during this difficult time. If you need assistance, please call our dispatch Line: 1-877-597-0747. You can take two easy steps to protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
Blood Donation Amid Coronavirus Concerns The American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage as concerns about the outbreak or coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19 rise in the U.S. As of March 22, more than 6,000 blood drives have been canceled resulting in about 200,000 fewer blood donations. Given these drive cancellations, donors may see fewer opportunities to give.
We are working around the clock to identify new hosts and are adding new blood drives each day. Please do not feel discouraged if there is not an immediate appointment available – patients still need you. As experts have emphasized, this outbreak is not limited to days and the Red Cross will continue to face blood collection challenges for weeks and even months during this crisis.
In addition, the American Red Cross has implemented additional precautions to ensure the safety of our donors and staff in response to concerns, including:
- Checking the temperature 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.
- Spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors and Increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.
It’s important to emphasize that there is no data or evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transmissions for any respiratory virus, including coronavirus, worldwide.
Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions.
A number of blood drives have been added at the Red Cross Rauner Center office (2200 W. Harrison), the Red Cross Romeoville office (1293 Windham Parkway) and the Red Cross Rockford office (727 N. Church Street).
The Red Cross asks that healthy individuals who are eligible to donate make an appointment before showing up to donate blood in order to manage the flow of donors appropriately in alignment with social distancing practices. Schedule your appointment using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at redcross.org/IL/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.