Monday March 30, 2020 ~ WEST SHORE & SOOKE
by Mary Brooke, B.Sc. ~ West Shore Voice News
Blood donor clinics continue during COVID-19. The usual requirements for blood of course continue, including for surgeries and cancer treatments.
However, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important for all travellers to self-isolate, and refrain from blood donation, for 14 days after any travel outside of Canada as stated by public health authorities, says Canadian Blood Services. For some travel, a longer deferral is already in place. See the CBS COVID-19 information page for information about donor eligibility. To inquire about eligibility: 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).
“It’s safe to donate blood during COVID-19, and critical for patients,” is the pitch on the CBS website. “We urge all donors to book and keep their appointments to prevent shortages.”
In the west shore the location of Canadian Blood Services donation centers include Colwood Church at 2250 Sooke Rd, Journey Middle School at 6522 Throup Road in Sooke, CFB Esquimalt upper dining hall at 1575 Lyall St, and also at the main CBS Victoria Donation Centre at 3449 Saanich Road.
Upcoming clinic dates include:
- Monday April 6 | Journey Middle School | 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
- Monday May 4 | CFB Esquimalt | 9 am to 3 pm
- Thursday April 2, Friday April 3, Tuesday, April 7, Wednesday April 8, Thursday April 9, Friday April 10, ongoing… | Victoria Donation Centre | 11 am to 6 pm (Tu/Wed/Th), 8:30 am to 2:30 pm (Fri), 9 am to 4 pm (every second Saturday)
- Monday June 15 | Colwood Church | check www.blood.ca
You can search for all donation events at www.blood.ca
If you have travelled in the last year outside of Canada or the USA: https://blood.ca/en/blood/travel
During COVID-19 enhanced wellness measures in the clinics include active wellness screening at the entrance; chairs spaced 2 metres apart in the sitting and waiting areas; increased cleaning frequency of all equipment and surfaces; donors are seated 2 metres apart from one another while donating (beds spaced further apart); laminated donor information pamphlets are wiped down after each use, or discarded after each use if not laminated; use of single-use Ziploc bags to hold blood donation bags.
Digital touch screens used to sign in for donor appointments and the Q-osk donors use to fill out their questionnaire are cleaned after every use, along with the signature pad and digital pen that donors use to sign their consent.
“We continue to review our cleaning products to ensure they effectively kill viruses on a variety of surfaces,” it is stated on the CBS website. They currently use Lysol disinfecting wipes or a bleach dilution for cleaning and are advised by a senior expert in microbiology on the proper concentration to kill viruses while ensuring the air is still safe to breathe.
Some tips for donating blood include being well-hydrated (about 2 litres the day before, and 1 litre on the day of); be generally feeling good; to eat before the appointment; and to bring government-issued ID.