Vitalant leaders said blood donations are still safe, according to a news release from Banner Health. Staff takes steps to ensure surfaces are thoroughly disinfected between donors and social distancing protocols are followed to minimize the potential for transmission of the new coronavirus.
"We all play an important role in protecting public health," Gov. Doug Ducey said in the release. "If you are healthy, please consider donating blood."
Federal leaders also encourage those who are able to donate to do so, reassuring the public blood donation is safe and an "essential health care activity," according to the news release.
Upcoming blood donation events include:
East Valley: Vitalant RV parked on west side of campus near parking garage
- Banner Gateway Medical Center, 1900 N. Higley Road, Gilbert
- Thursday, March 26, 7 a.m. to noon
- Tuesday, March 31, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vitalant RV parked on east side of campus near main entrance
- Banner Baywood Medical Center, 6644 E. Baywood Ave., Mesa
- Thursday, March 26, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vitalant asks potential donors to make an appointment on its website ahead of the event to prevent crowds from forming.
To create a safe and secure environment for patients and health care workers during the COVID-19 outbreak, visitors are not allowed in Banner hospitals until further notice, according to Banner Health.
"Our blood collection sites are a 'first response' action to this outbreak versus a gathering that needs to be avoided,” said Dr. Ralph Vassallo, Vitalant's chief medical and scientific officer, in a news release. "If you're healthy, you're needed now more than ever. We cannot let it get to the point where there’s no blood available for trauma patients, those undergoing cancer treatment and patients who need regular, ongoing blood transfusions just to survive."
For more information and to schedule a donation, visit vitalant.org and click on "blood drive" or call 877-258-4825.
Officials recommend checking the website often, as the number of people who can donate at a time is limited.