In wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, and people taking extra measures to social distance, blood donations have declined rapidly throughout the province. 

Canadian Blood Sevices has put the call out for healthy Albertans to help out and they have implemented extra safety protocols to ensure the safety of the donors, staff and the general public.

Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie along with several other MLAs did their part by giving blood last week. Guthrie says that people may not have realized that they could in fact still donate during the pandemic.

He says "What ended up happening with the blood clinics is that there was no walk-in traffic allowed. Everything is being done by appointment only now as an added safety measure and so there has been a major dip in the number of donations. The call went out for donors and I think that once that message got out people realized that they still could give blood."

Guthrie says that the entire process is extremely safe and that in addition to social distancing protocols being implemented, there was an extensive screening process. 

He says "We all had to stand six feet apart when we came in, and they then interviewed us at the front desk with various COVID-19 related questions. We then moved onto another desk and had similar type questions and then proceeded to sit at a kiosk, which had just been wiped down before we sat down and we were all spaced out there as well. At the kiosk, e were asked another set of questions pertaining to lifestyle, travel etc and again, various questions related to COVID-19."

While giving her daily COVID-19 update yesterday, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw also made the plea for healthy Albertans to donate blood. Hinshaw says that while there is such a large focus on COVID-19 righty now, Albertans who are suffering from other health conditions still need help.

She says "I understand that donations have declined, and we still need blood to help Albertans who are suffering through other health conditions. Canadian Blood Services has taken safety measures to ensure its staff and their donors are protected at this time. We are all in this together, and now more than ever, kindness matters."

Guthrie added that "It is something that people can do right now to get out of their homes."

He goes on to say "If you want to do something to help your community book an appointment and get out and donate."