Skagit

With various restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloodworks Northwest needed a replacement for its usual mobile blood drive in Skagit County.

After a seven-day stint in a new home, the organization’s pop-up donor center at Salem Lutheran Church in Mount Vernon has been deemed a hit.

Donor Resources Representative Efrain Frias said the effort drew 307 donors, including 20 first-time donors. It collected 276 units of blood.

Because different components of blood —red cells, platelets and plasma — are taken from each unit of blood, the total donations could help up to 828 people in Pacific Northwest hospitals and medical centers.

“The pop-up in Salem Lutheran was exceptional,” Frias said.

The organization held its appointment-only drive at Salem Lutheran Church on various days between June 9-26.

The donor center had newly installed precautions, including the requirement donors wear masks and not be accompanied by guests. On-site personnel were required to wear masks, and social-distancing guidelines were enforced.

It was part of a new way of doing things for Bloodworks Northwest, which provides blood to more than 70 facilities in Washington and Oregon.

Frias said another drive in Skagit County is in the planning stages.

He urges people to continue donating, as various COVID-19 restrictions has the organization receiving fewer donations than usual.

“It’s amazing people are coming out, but if you have a friend or family member who’s never come out, please encourage them. You’re saving lives by donating blood,” Frias said.

Reporter Trevor Pyle: 360-416-2156, tpyle@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Sports_SVH, Facebook.com/bytrevorpyle

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