Blood donation centers feel impact of COVID-19

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Hospitals across Albuquerque are in critical need of blood donations because coronavirus is impacting the number of donations coming in. On Wednesday, March 25 United Blood Services, now Vitalant, is holding a blood drive at Longfellow Elementary School and is adapting to social distancing protocol.

Each donor is waiting in their car instead of in a group. They will receive a text message when it’s their turn to donate.

Vitalant says they’ve received a huge outpouring of support with 70 appointments scheduled for Wednesday. However, they say along with that, they’ve also seen some hesitancy from donors who are worried about potentially catching the virus.

They say they’re taking extra precautions to protect everyone.

“We are doing all of our sign-ups outside, we are taking their temperature, we are giving everybody individual snacks, we are sanitizing our hands, everything in between each and every single donor. On our beds, in our interview booths, so not only are we doing it out here, but we’re doing it in our buses and taking that extra step of precaution,” said donor recruitment specialist Kristen Ludi.

They’re not using every bed on the bus and have cut the number in half to meet the social distancing guidelines implemented by the governor. They will be at the location until 4 p.m.

The organization is unsure when they’ll be hosting another blood drive. All of the blood collected will stay in New Mexico.

Visit Vitalant’s website to find out how to make a donation appointment at a center near you.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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