UPDATED: MHS “Battle for the Blood” Drive Canceled due to COVID-19 District Shutdown


Jordyn Mobley

The blood drive will be held in the Multi-purpose room throughout the entire school day.

Jaden Gadsden and Jordyn Mobley

UPDATE March 13, 2020 Due to Fayette County Schools district-wide closing on Friday, March 13 the blood drive has been canceled. “I’m so disappointed,” said MHS organizer and Health Occupations teacher Jackie Burgess. “We had to turn people away because we had too many sign up. And they desperately need blood.”

March 12, 2020:
The Battle for the Blood drive is a blood drive/ competition taking place in Fayette County. All of the Fayette County high schools are participating, however, McIntosh is the last school in the county to hold a drive. The winner of the drive will be announced shortly after it takes place.
All blood that’s donated goes to the community blood center, LifeSouth. The donated blood goes to and directly benefits the needs of patients in our community. A student donating one pint of blood can save up to three lives. While just anyone can’t donate their blood, most can. LifeSouth requires that donors are at least 16 years old, have written parental consent, weigh at least 110 pounds, and have a certain hemoglobin level. Though all students wanting to donate blood will be screened beforehand to make sure that they fulfill these requirements.
There is a worldwide shortage of blood donations because of multiple reasons. “People can be deferred or they may decide to change their mind at the last second,” said Tiffany Rolle, a member of Lifetouch. “Our goal is to get at least 120 people to sign up, but of those 120, hopefully, 100 will actually follow through and donate.” Because of the shortage, Lifetouch has decided to do a press release with the media to convey their need for blood donations.
A concern is that some students may be reluctant or afraid to donate their blood whether it be because of needles or something else and are in need of some advice. Donating blood is highly encouraged after all. However, Jacqueline Burgess, advisor of HOSA, the club that helps to promote student interest in health careers, says that many people actually find the process of donating blood to be “easy and extremely gratifying.” She continued “At the very worst, you receive a t-shirt and snacks while saving lives.” Burgess also says that it’s important to stay hydrated prior to the process of donating blood and any time other than that.
COVID-19 is also a major concern for people. However, when asked about Coronavirus affecting the blood drive, Rolle said, “The Coronavirus is a respiratory disease so it affects the blood drive in no way. There are precautions that we have to take anyway before allowing people to take blood to ensure safety.” The blood drives are technically not considered “mass-gatherings” so students would not be at risk for obtaining the virus.
Burgess added to this by saying, “It seems that the Coronavirus is only affecting elderly people so I think that the population here at McIntosh will be fine. However, we don’t want to be carriers of the virus so it is very important to take the necessary precautions by washing your hands.”