After closing to the public a month ago, Washington National Cathedral is now preparing to host a four-day blood drive for the Red Cross from April 15-18.
There’s a severe blood shortage nationally and locally. As Covid-19 has continued to spread, major blood-drive cancellations across the country have led to a sharp decline in donations. In mid-March, the Red Cross announced that it was expecting some 86,000 fewer donations than normal due to nearly 3,000 event cancellations. Those numbers have since increased as more people are staying home, but there are still ways you can donate during quarantine.
The Red Cross has been working to open new donation sites with specific social distancing protocols to ensure that the process is safe for the donors and the staff. You can only donate if you schedule an appointment in advance. The Cathedral has slots from Wednesday, April 15 to Friday, April 17 from 11 AM to 5 PM. Saturday, April 18, there will be appointments between 11 AM and 4 PM. The staff will be wearing face masks and gloves. They will also be taking every donor’s temperature and assessing overall health before the donation process begins.
This isn’t the first time National Cathedral has contributed to the city’s overall response to Covid-19. Just a few weeks ago, one mason discovered 5,000 face masks in its crypt and the Cathedral donated them to Children’s National Hospital and Georgetown University Hospital.