PHOENIX - As the Valley deals with a blood donor shortage due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, Banner Health and Vitalant (formerly known as United Blood Services) are working together to collect more blood.
"With social distancing and fewer blood drives, our resources aren't as available as they normally are, but we have expanded our days and our donor centers, as well as added some additional blood drives," said Vitalant spokesperson Sue Thew.
Starting Thursday through April 24, there will be five Vitalant RVs at Banner medical centers from the East Valley to the West Valley, with specific dates and times
As for those worried about COVID-19, Thew says it can't be transmitted to blood donors. She says staff members are taking ultimate precautions during this crisis.
"Disinfecting the beds in between donors. Our staff are wearing gloves. We're maintaining social distancing in all of our areas. We're taking temperatures before people enter any of our locations to make sure that nobody is showing symptoms," said Thew.
Thew says 5,000 blood donations are needed yearly to support those in need throughout the country.
"Please make it a point to give blood this week or next week or the following week. We just need a steady supply of donors coming in on a regular basis due to the shelf life of blood," said Thew.
According to Vitalant's website, the organization doe not test for COVID-19, and people are asked to not donate blood if they are feeling ill.
When are the blood drives held?
- Banney Gateway Medical Center (1900 N. Higley Rd., Gilbert) from 7:00 a.m. to 12 noon on March 26, and from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on March 31. The RV will be parked on the east side of the campus near the main entrance.
- Banner Baywood Medical Center (6644 E Baywood Ave., Mesa) from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on March 26. The RV will be parked on the west side of the campus, near the parking garage.
- Banner Estrella Medical Center (9201 W Thomas Rd., Phoenix) from 10:00 a.n. to 2:00 p.m. on April 16. The RV will be parked on west side of the campus, near the main entrance.
- Banner Boswell Medical Center (10401 W Thunderbird Blvd., Sun City), from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 23. The RV will be parked near the south entrance.
- Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center (14502 W Meeker Blvd, Sun City West), from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 24. The RV will be parked near the south entrance.