(CNS) – Amid a severe need for blood donations, LifeStream Blood Bank will hold three mobile drives this week in the Coachella Valley, where donors will also be screened for COVID-19 antibodies.
The first drive will take place Wednesday at the Riverside County sheriff’s station in Thermal, at 86625 Airport Blvd., from 1 to 6 p.m.
On Thursday, LifeStream will set up at two valley locations. Staff will be at the Desert Regional Medical Center, 1150 N. Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and at La Quinta Medical Center, 47647 Caleo Bay Drive., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Blood collected through donations to LifeStream goes to more than 80 hospitals in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura and San Diego counties.
During the first few weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, protective stay-at-home orders forced the cancellation of more than 80 LifeStream blood drives throughout Southern California, organization spokesman Don Escalante said at the time. He said about 5,000 pints of blood were effectively lost from mid-March through the end of May alone.
Potential donors must wear face coverings while donating, have their temperatures checked, and complete a review of possible COVID-19 symptoms. They must be at least 15 years old, weigh at least 115 pounds and be free from infections or illnesses.
Donors must not be at risk of having AIDS or hepatitis, and those under 17 years old must bring written consent from a parent.
Donating blood takes about an hour, according to LifeStream. Appointments are recommended and can be made by calling 800-879-4484 or online at http://www.lstream.org.