The blood supply in South Texas has reached critically low levels, declining to around half of what is needed to adequately serve patients throughout the region.

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, a subsidiary of San Antonio-based non-profit BioBridge Global, urgently needs 500 donations per day through Monday to re-build the supply.  

The shortfall comes at a time when collections normally are rising, the start of the new school year. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, universities are not hosting blood drives and there is only one high school drive scheduled during September. 

In a typical year, school-related drives provide up to a quarter of all donations at the community blood center.

There are only 60 blood drives scheduled this month, compared to 200 in September of last year, as businesses and other organizations also have canceled drives because of the pandemic. 

In response to the shortage, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center three blood donation drives in Kerrville in September.

Call (210) 731-5590 to make an appointment to make a donation.

The upcoming blood drives in the Kerrville area are:

• Peterson Regional Medical Center, 551 Hill Country Dr., Wed. Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.;

• Kerrville Public Utility Board, 2250 Memorial Blvd., Thursday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.;

• Rotary Club of Kerrville at Crenwelge Motors, 301 Main St., Tuesday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Anyone with symptoms is asked to remain home and to contact his or her physician.

For appointments, call South Texas Blood and Tissue Center in San Antonio; or visit www.southtexasblood. org.

Blood donations are needed for a range of treatments, from cancer to trauma to childbirth, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The community blood bank has put numerous protocols in place to keep donors safe, from mandatory masks to social distancing. All blood donations also are tested for COVID-19 antibodies.

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