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Coronavirus threatens blood donations ​

Memorial Blood Centers has already cancelled more than 25 blood drives this week because of the outbreak.​ ​

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — We're all trying to find ways to pass the time. Donating blood is an option.

"Got nothing else to do," said Mimi Schroeder who was donating blood Tuesday. "Puzzles only last so long."

She is a freshman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

"Why not come out right," says Ella Schroeder who is a freshman at the University of Iowa.

"This is my first time so," said Sunny Schroeder, a freshman at UW-Madison.

All three sisters are from Wayzata.

"Yeah I'm a triplet," said Mimi.

They donated blood together with school on hiatus.

"It's a family affair," said Ella.

It was their mom's idea.

"Might as well try to do something good so she was looking up things to do and thought we could donate blood so," said Mimi.

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Good timing as the coronavirus has forced dozens of Memorial Blood Centers' drives to be canceled. More than 25 so far this week.

More than half of blood donations come from blood drives.

"A large percentage of it is collected from the student population. Schools out," said Phil Losacker with Memorial Blood Centers.

He says that threatens the blood supply. That is why he is calling on people who are healthy to donate.

With the outbreak he says staff are taking precautions too.

"Doing some extra cleaning on our vehicles and on our donor centers and offering hand sanitizer and keeping a distance between donors," said Losacker.

Donors like Mimi, Ella, and Sunny are now home for the foreseeable future who might be back to donate more blood.

Maybe if I'm here for longer," said Mimi.

As always people are not able to donate if they have a fever or symptoms of a cold.

Those who have traveled to areas with significant coronavirus outbreaks are asked not to donate as well.

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here.

The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

More information on the coronavirus: 

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