Blood Connection experiences historic shortages after storm.

Date20 January 2022

Between a surge in cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant and a spate of disruptive winter weather, the Piedmont-based The Blood Connection projects it will receive only 60% of the blood its partner hospitals need over the next month.

The community blood center is the sole provider for every hospital in the Upstate and 80 hospitals across the Carolinas and Georgia, according to the organization.

The past 10 months have spurred on a historic shortage for the Blood Connection, but as omicron cases are on the rise and roads have been blocked by snow and ice over the past week, the organization has struggled to keep its desired minimum of a five-to-seven-day inventory of every blood type.

Predictions for snow in the Upstate were spotty to nonexistent at the time this story was posted, according to the National Weather Service, but other South Carolina counties within The Blood Connection's service area continue to be under a winter weather advisory for the weekend.

"You never know when it could be a family member that has a bad day driving on the highway," Greer resident Chris Rains said in a news release. Rains' life was saved after an auto accident when the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System gave him a transfusion donated through The Blood Connection.

The Blood Connection said its ability to bridge the shortage depends on businesses, churches and schools that host blood drives. Donors will be able to opt in for COVID-19 antibody testing within three days of donation.

A few local organizations that will host a drive this weekend include:

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