Blood drives coming to the San Luis Valley in April

Blood drives coming to the San Luis Valley in April

Four blood drives will be taking place in the San Luis Valley, with social distancing guidelines in effect, in the coming weeks.

“We are encouraging appointments only at the blood drives right now,” said Megan McCarter, donor recruitment representative for Vitalant, the company conducting the blood drives. “Walk-ins will not be allowed.”

Making an appointment will allow the staff of the blood drive to be able to keep donors at the state-requested six-foot distancing from each other. Blood donation operations such as blood drives are not considered “gatherings” under the current social distancing guidelines, but as essential health-care activities.

In addition, due to COVID-19, the company is requiring that people SHOULD NOT donate if in the past four weeks: They have been outside of the United States or traveled via a cruise ship; they have lived with or been in close contact with individuals diagnosed with or suspected of having the COVID-19 infection; or they themselves have been diagnosed or suspected of having the COVID-19 infection. Please do not donate blood if you do not feel well.

For healthy people looking to volunteer or help out in the Valley during this time, donating blood is a quick and easy way to contribute. A blood donation only has a shelf life of 42 days, so constant donations are necessary.

McCarter said the phones are busy with people calling in to make appointments.

“It’s amazing the number of people who have come forward to donate blood,” McCarter said. “When you call in, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get through right away. Please try again.”

The company will be back in June for another round of blood drives.

The following is a list of upcoming blood drives in the San Luis Valley:

  • Monte Vista Community Blood Drive: Wednesday, April 8, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the LDS Church, located at 99 W. Prospect Avenue in Monte Vista. To schedule an appointment, call the Vitalant Appointment Center at 1-800-365-0006, ext. 2.
  • Conejos County Community Blood Drive: Friday, April 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the SLV Health La Jara Clinic, located at 509 E. Main Street in La Jara. To schedule an appointment, contact Ann Holmes at 719-274-4477. Please note: this location is different from the location that was previously used.
  • SLV Health Blood Drive: Friday, April 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the SLV Health Conference and Education Center, located at 1921 Main St. in Alamosa. To schedule an appointment, just go to https://bit.ly/2ye1XUe.
  • Alamosa Community Blood Drive: Tuesday, April 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the LDS Church, located at 927 Weber Drive in Alamosa. To schedule an appointment, call the Vitalant appointment center at 1-800-365-0006, ext. 2.

For more information on blood donor eligibility, frequently asked questions about blood donations during this pandemic, and the most up-to-date donor information, please go to Vitalant’s website at www.vitalant.org.