Published by Kirby Winn on Monday, August 17, 2020 in News Releases
AUGUST 17 UPDATE:
- MVRBC Lindale Crossing Donor Center now open (4828 1st Ave. NE)
- MVRBC Williams Parkway Donor Center remains closed until further notice (3001 Williams Blvd SW)
- Select mobile blood drives operating as scheduled and as conditions permit
- Appointments required for donation (check www.bloodcenter.org for schedules, or call (800) 747-5401)
(August 12, 2020 | Davenport, Iowa) – The major storm that caused widespread damage across eastern Iowa and western Illinois earlier this week is also making an impact on our region’s blood supply. After losing power and sustaining damage to facilities and vehicles, Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) has experienced a loss of at least 500 donations related to the storm.
MVRBC Donor Centers and mobile blood drives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are closed and canceled, at minimum through Sunday, August 16, due to damage to the Blood Center’s buildings and vehicles. Many staff members are also experiencing challenges with storm damage and loss of electricity. The Blood Center’s Donor Centers in Iowa City and Muscatine also lost power during the storm but are now back to normal operations.
MVRBC is working to recruit additional donors in other parts of the Blood Center’s service region. To make an appointment for donation, call Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center at (800) 747-5401 or sign up online at www.bloodcenter.org.
Blood donation is considered an essential service for health care and has continued throughout the COVID19 pandemic. The Blood Center has taken steps to ensure blood drives will remain an acceptable activity under federal, state, and local public health guidelines. Masks or facial coverings are required for all staff and donors at Donor Centers and blood drives, and all donors are required to make an appointment for donation. By eliminating walk-in donations during the pandemic, the Blood Center can exert greater control over donor flow and social distancing.
Under ideal conditions, MVRBC would collect more than 3500 units of whole blood every week to ensure its ability to provide a sufficient blood supply for our region. With recent cancellations of mobile blood drives, collections are projected to average approximately 3200 donations per week between now and Labor Day.
As an added ‘Thank You’ for donating, all presenting donors will receive a voucher for a $10 gift card and double points to spend in the Blood Center’s donor loyalty store. The voucher for the $10 gift card, available through Sept. 13, is redeemable online or by phone for the donor’s choice of Amazon.com, Target, Subway, Burger King, iTunes/App Store, Applebee’s, Olive Garden, or Domino’s. Under the donor loyalty program, donors earn points with each donation that can be redeemed in the Blood Center’s online loyalty store for exclusive donor gifts such as apparel, drinkware, and phone accessories.
To maintain a safe, hygienic environment at Donor Centers and blood drives:
- All staff and donors are now required to wear a face covering while inside Donor Centers or participating in a mobile blood drive. Paper masks will be provided for those who arrive without their own mask or facial covering.
- Donors are now required to make appointments for donation. To maintain social distancing and appropriate donor flow, walk-ins will only be accepted when an appointment slot is available.
- Please do not give blood if you are experiencing any symptoms of a COVID-19 infection or have in the last 14 days been within six feet of someone who has the virus or is being tested for the virus for greater than 15 minutes without use of personal protective equipment.
- Prior to donation, donors are screened for symptoms of illness (body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and hemoglobin level all are checked, and the donor completes a pre-donation Donor History Questionnaire).
- When possible, donors are asked to complete the Donor History Questionnaire online on the same day as their donation (see www.bloodcenter.org/EarlyQ)
- Staff have added space between chairs in screening areas and in the post-donation refreshment area. Between donations, staff wipe down chairs and surfaces to maintain a safe, hygienic environment.
About Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) is the exclusive provider of blood products and services to 115 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, including UnityPoint St. Luke’s Hospital, Mercy Cedar Rapids, Mercy Iowa City, and is the primary supplemental provider to University of Iowa’s DeGowin Blood Center. In the Dubuque region, MVRBC serves UnityPoint Finley Hospital, MercyOne Dubuque, MercyOne Dyersville, and Midwest Medical Center in Galena.
The Blood Center’s service region extends from southwestern Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri and from Danville, Illinois to Chariton, Iowa. For more information, see www.bloodcenter.org and visit the Blood Center’s social media channels: www.facebook.com/MVRBC, www.twitter.com/willyougive, www.youtube.com/MVRBC, and www.instagram.com/willyougive/.