Blood donation still essential
With the country moves back into Level 3 (Auckland) and Level 2 (rest of NZ), New Zealand Blood Service is reminding donors that blood donation continues to be an essential service.
All donor centres and mobile drives across the country remain safe places to visit during all lockdown levels.
“Blood donation is an essential service and NZBS has made significant preparations for this scenario," says Asuka Burge, National Manager, Marketing and Communications New Zealand Blood Service.
"We have reinstated social distancing at all sites and donor hosts have returned to our donor centres within the Auckland supercity boundary to pre-screen donors before they enter,”
“In line with Ministry of Health guidelines, our donor centre and mobile blood drive teams across the country will be wearing masks. Donors are expected to wear masks when visiting a site, and we encourage them to bring their own. If they don’t have one, we will have some available on site."
Asuka says any donor who feels unwell should contact the NZBS and cancel their appointment.
She says this will allow the service to rebook the appointment.
"Bookings are essential to ensure we can manage supply and demand of blood and blood products as we transition between alert levels across the country.
“The need for blood and blood products is constant, there is no substitute for blood. We continue to ask all eligible and healthy donors to book an appointment and maintain their commitment to donating blood or plasma.
• Donor centres continue to be safe places to visit.
• NZBS is asking healthy donors to continue to keep appointments to donate blood
• Blood stock levels are currently at healthy levels
• Travel to a nearby donor centre or mobile blood drive is considered essential travel.
• We encourage anyone visiting our site to scan the QR codes provided at reception for contact tracing purposes.
• NZBS is asking donors NOT to travel from outside the Auckland supercity boundary to visit an Auckland donor centre
• Some mobile drives in Auckland will be rescheduled – please check our mobile app or website for updated information.
• NZBS is advising donors over 70 years of age living within the Auckland supercity boundary to follow Ministry of Health guidelines and stay safe at home.
• Booking an appointment is essential. Donors without appointments may be turned away if there are no available beds. This helps sites manage the flow of people in donor centres at any given time, and allows NZBS to forecast supply, ensuring it is collecting sufficient quantities of blood types and blood products.
"The need for blood is constant. There is no substitute for blood; blood donors save lives."
For more information on donating blood during the COVID-19 lockdown, visit https://www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood/covid-19-updates/