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Hospitals holding Billings blood drive Friday

Posted at 9:51 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 23:51:26-04

Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Healthcare and Vitalant are holding a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the Glacier Room on the first floor of the MSUB Student Union.

Vitalant, the area's largest blood bank, has reported critical shortages amid the coronavirus outbreak and is calling for healthy adults with no respiratory symptoms to donate.

Blood drives are considered a ‘critical care activity,’ and not a large event or an event where social distancing is a concern, organizers said.

“Part of preparedness includes a robust blood supply,” Billings Mayor Bill Cole said in a statement. “Healthy individuals should schedule an appointment to donate blood today to ensure that blood is available for those patients who need it. I encourage the Billings community to join Anne and I at MSU-Billings on Friday and help support this critical community need."

Healthy people are strongly encouraged to make an appointment by calling 877-258-4825 or visiting Vitalant.org and clicking on “Make Your Appointment.” Donors can park in the MSUB parking lot off of Rimrock Road.

Currently, all blood types are needed. Blood donors must be healthy, feeling well and free of respiratory illness symptoms to be eligible to donate. In addition, anyone with an elevated temperature is not eligible to donate. There is a four week deferral period if donors have traveled to/from and spent time in a country with sustained widespread COVID-19 outbreaks, lived with or been in close contact with individuals diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19 infection.