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Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

In the beginning, when everyone got sent home to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, Pickens County didn’t have much to worry about. Its COVID numbers were low, almost nonexistent, even as the sheer volume of cases and deaths ramped up everywhere else.

“The pandemic came to the United States in March [2020], but it didn’t come to Pickens County until a lot later,” says Kandy Kelley, coroner for Pickens County. “We really didn’t see any [deaths from COVID] until just a few months ago. And then, boom!”

Boom.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Blood is in short supply, in large part because of the coronavirus outbreak, says Maya Franklin, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Charlotte, NC.

“That’s resulted in dozens, if not hundreds, of blood drove cancellations by our sponsors,” she says.

That statement only refers to the Carolinas region between Rock Hill, SC, and Greensboro, NC. Nationally, says Franklin’s Rock Hill colleague, Ashley Collier, about 5,000 blood drives had been cancelled, through March 20.