San Angelo, TX   March 23, 2020 –    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages people who are well to continue to donate blood as it is an essential activity, even amidst COVID-19 response measures. It’s not a “gathering” that government agencies are advising people to avoid.

Vitalant Donation Center at 2020 W. Beauregard has extended its hours effective today:

Monday – Thursday  10am – 8pm

Friday and Saturday  8am – 5pm

Sun, March 29           8am – 12.30pm

Vitalant has taken additional measures to ensure donor safety.  Regulated by the FDA, safety is always at the forefront of blood donation – for donors, recipients and staff.
We are doing the following to keep donors and staff safe:

*   We are spacing chairs 3 feet apart in waiting and donation areas (and, where possible, 6-feet), per guidance from the World Health Organization and the CDC.
*   We may ask donors to leave a mobile phone number and wait in their car until they are called.
*   We are discouraging other visitors from entering.
*   Our safety protocols include wearing gloves and wiping down donor-touched and other high-touch areas often and after each collection.

Additional safety precautions include:  donor temperature prescreening with temp taken prior to entering the facility (if in excess of 99.5 donor will not be allowed to enter and donate); handwashing and blankets used by some during donation – we are asking donors to bring their own blankets and once we receive the disposable drapes for the blankets, that will be implemented.

In these difficult times, giving blood is something healthy individuals can do to help the sick.  The only source for blood – literally in many hospital procedures, the source of life – is another human being.  Hospital patients need people to donate blood today, while following guidance from the CDC and other agencies.

Vitalant is urging sponsors to continue organizing blood drives and individuals to continue to donate.  Blood drives at schools, churches , community groups and businesses represent more than 60% of the nations’ blood supply.  These events are critical to health care in our country.

If you would like to organize a community blood drive, please contact Linda Grace with Vitalant at 325-223-7500.

To schedule an appointment to donate or for more information, call 877-258-4825.

We deeply appreciate those who support the critical public health need of a safe and available blood supply.

About Vitalant

Vitalant is the nation’s second largest community blood service provider, supplying comprehensive transfusion medicine services for nearly 1,000 hospitals and health care partners for patients in need across 40 states. Vitalant inspires local communities to serve the needs of others and transform lives through the selfless act of donating blood. Every day, almost 5,000 blood donations are needed to meet the needs of people throughout the country, and Vitalant’s 780,000 donors supply 1.8 million donations a year. In addition to blood products, Vitalant offers customers transfusion services, medical consulting, quality guidance, ongoing education, research and more. For more information and to schedule a donation, visit vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825 (877-25VITAL). Join the conversation about impacting the lives of others on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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