As the presence of COVID-19 continues to affect people in the United States and around the world, many cities and states have adapted shelter-in-place restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. While these measures are designed to save lives, they are also having a real impact on many aspects of our society. One critical aspect that is affected is the country’s blood supply. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the number of blood donations has been greatly reduced.
I encourage all employees who are able to, to give blood. Donating blood saves lives. As the FDA said, blood donation centers already have infection control practices and procedures in place to prevent the spread of infections. These centers always take steps to screen staff and donors who are not feeling well and are taking additional social distancing precautions wherever possible. The FDA links to many resources to help all Americans find a blood donation center.
The Office of Personnel Management allows agencies to “grant administrative leave, typically up to 4 hours, to an employee who donates blood.” Please discuss with your supervisor if you need to request administrative leave.
Please visit the COVID-19 resource page regularly to stay up to date on information regarding COVID-19. If you have questions or concerns, please be sure to discuss them with your supervisor.
Thank you for what you do every day for DHS and our Nation.
Deputy Under Secretary for Management