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B.C. blood donations down as province eases COVID-19 restrictions

Last Updated Jul 7, 2021 at 11:58 am PDT

FILE (CityNews)

Canadian Blood Services is urging people who can to roll up their sleeves and donate

There are more than 4,000 open appointments in B.C. for the next few weeks, Canadian Blood Services says

Many COVID-19 protocols remain in place at blood donation centres

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Many British Columbians are rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but it appears not as many are doing so to donate blood.

According to Canadian Blood Services, there’s been a drop in the number of people wanting to give blood.

“Typically in the summer, we do see a change in the donors coming out to our donor centres, typically because people are taking holidays or getting out of routines. This year, in particular, just because of the opening up of provinces and people having the opportunity to go out, and they haven’t done that in a long time. We are seeing a significant difference this year,” said Gayle Voyer, who is the associate director for B.C. and Yukon.

Last year was also an anomaly, due to rising COVID-19 cases and pandemic shutdowns.

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Voyer notes there are more than 4,000 open appointments in B.C. for the next few weeks, adding “that’s a significant number.”

“We’re just asking for donors to book an appointment, keep that appointment, maybe bring a friend, just to help fill all those available appointments in the month of July, and throughout the summer,” she told NEWS 1130.

While many COVID-19 restrictions, including those around masks, have been eased by the provincial government, Canadian Blood Services is regulated by Health Canada and follows its guidelines.

Anyone looking to donate blood will want to take note of some protocols. Voyer says donor centres will continue to conduct wellness checks for anyone coming through their doors, and masks will be required when you walk in.

“People can expect to have social distancing as well throughout the donor centres and throughout their donation experience,” Voyer said, adding protocols are expected to continue all summer.

“The other thing I wanted to mention as well is we do ask that everybody does have an appointment, just so we can adhere to that social distancing in our centres.”

You can find more information on the Canadian Blood Services website, app, or by calling 1.888.2.DONATE.