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Giving blood an essential service during COVID pandemic in Sonoma County

Yes, you can give blood while under coronavirus restrictions.

While some may have assumed it’s not allowed or simply forgotten about it with no bloodmobiles out, Vitalant wants Sonoma County residents to know it is open and eager to take your blood.

Vitalant, formerly Blood Centers of the Pacific, remains open most days at its donor center at 3505 Industrial Drive in Santa Rosa. The organization accepts blood, plasma and platelets. Appointments are not required but recommended.

“This is definitely one of the ways you can help,” said marketing and communications manager Kevin Adler. “Blood donating is an essential health care activity you can do.”

Many community blood drives have been canceled due to the pandemic’s social distancing requirements, so individual donations matter now more than ever to help save lives. Those who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection are able to donate convalescent plasma, which may help patients currently fighting the virus.

And, bonus: You’ll know if you’ve had the virus after giving blood.

“All donations are being tested for COVID-19 antibodies in an effort to potentially identify convalescent plasma donors, because there is a really big need and it’s growing every day,” Adler said.

Community donations are vital, Adler said, since Vitalant is not able to have blood drives at schools, which are closed to most on-campus activity, or send traditional mobile blood donation centers to businesses. School blood drives account for about 25% of yearly blood donations, he said.

“We’re working to find other ways to hold blood drives,” he said. “It’s difficult in so many aspects.”

At the local donor center, social distancing requirements are being implemented and equipment is disinfected often.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep everyone safe,” Adler said.

Donate blood locally

SANTA ROSA

The Vitalant Santa Rosa Donor Center is open most days. It is located at 3505 Industrial Drive. Visit its website or contact 877-258-4825 for details.

WINDSOR

Vitalant will hold a blood drive from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 2 at Charlie’s Grill, 1320 19th Hole Drive.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 707-521-5470 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @loriacarter.

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