March 18, 2020

DAYTON, Ohio - The Dayton area was battered by one crisis after another last year but emerged "Dayton Strong." Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley gave blood Wednesday at the Dayton Community Blood Center to help avert a blood shortage on top of the COVID-19 crisis and encouraged others to be "Donor Strong."

Mayor Whaley is an experienced blood donor and a supporter of CBC blood drives at Dayton City Hall. Wednesday's donation marked her one gallon donation milestone. She said no one should be afraid to donate.

"I know when you go to donate blood it's probably the cleanest place, even before the virus hit," she said. "The number of people that are constantly cleaning sites and spaces here, it's a medical place and there's tons of distance between each seat. It's very clean, very safe. They're taking very good care of that, like they do every time."

Dayton joined other donors in supporting the "Dayton Strong" blood drive at the Dayton CBC. Everyone who registered to donate received a free Kings Island ticket or a free Cinemark movie ticket. 

Donors are noticing the extra cautions in place at blood drives. They are advised to leave if they have traveled to COVID-19 outbreak areas in the last 28 days, have any illness, or have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.  Staff members sterilized the electronic tablets used by donors to register and rearranged seating to keep more distance between donors.

"Look, this is something you can do to make a difference and help your community," said Mayor Whaley. "It doesn't cost you any money, just an hour of your time and right now some people have some time. So, come on down if you're healthy, you feel well, and you're not in one of those categories that have weakened immune systems. This is something you can do to help Dayton and your community."

After donating Mayor Whaley had a quick snack in the Donor Café before going back to work running a city coping with yet another crisis. "We're as ready as we can be," she said. "I feel good about that. It's not, 'Oh my God, what is this?'"