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Dec. 6, 2021 | Monday
Local News
COVID-19: NOTLers encouraged to give blood
Reporter Jill Troyer donates blood donor at St. Catharines clinic.

Blood donations fell off sharply in the wake of measures like school closures and self-isolation guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

But days later, leaders including Prime Minister Trudeau called on Canadians to donate, and the trend reversed almost immediately.

“Since March 16, we have seen an increase in donations, which will help us maintain our inventory,” said Tammy Maroudas, territory manager, donor relations for Canadian Blood Services.

Working from her home in St. Davids because of the pandemic, Maroudas added, “There’s a constant flow now. It’s very heartwarming.” 

“Giving blood can help address feelings of helplessness some of us may have during this pandemic, by giving us something concrete we can do to contribute,” said Maroudas.

She emphasized it is safe to give blood during the pandemic. 

“We’ve taken steps to implement enhanced safety measures, to ensure the safety of staff and donors, including extra cleaning, keeping chairs and beds two metres apart, and screening everyone as they arrive to be sure they are well.”

Another change is that donors must make appointments ahead of time, as walk-ins will not be accepted. This helps limit the number of people in a clinic at any time, to permit effective social distancing. 

“It’s a very controlled environment,” Maroudas added, “with only 10 people per hour allowed into the clinic.”

As heartening as the recent increase in donations is, Maroudas insisted, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. The demand for blood is constant, because it has a shelf life of only 42 days.”

So donations in the weeks and months to come are equally important as those that have been made more.

NOTL residents can give blood at the St. Catharines Blood Centre on Ontario Street. In Niagara Falls, the clinics are mobile and the next one there will be on Monday, April 27, at the Niagara Optimist Centre on Morrison Street.

Donors can book an appointment online at, or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE.