BILLINGS, Mont. -- The need for blood donors during the coronavirus pandemic is at an all time high. With schools closed around the country, blood donation centers like Vitalant are losing a big pool of donors.
Kathy Lowry, Recruitment Representative at Vitalant, says 35% of donations typically come from blood drives at high schools and colleges. Right now, Vitalant is relying heavily on organizations and businesses such as Faith E Church to fill that role.
Lowry says Vitalant is following CDC protocol at all blood drives by separating chairs six feet apart and disinfecting equipment after each use.
One blood donor, Emily Swartz, says she wants to do anything she can to help her community, especially during this difficult time.
"I'm here donating blood today because I feel the demand and the stress of the community and the shortage of blood and I'm here just in support of that and to be a community member and during these times, everybody just needs to rally together. I feel that pull and I'm hoping others do the same," says Swartz.
Lowry says Vitalant will be hosting another blood drive at Faith E Church next month and encourages all healthy potential donors to schedule an appointment. Lowry is also asking all local organizations to consider hosting a blood drive if they are able to do so.