Dundalk blood donor clinics can serve donors from Grey Highlands

·2 min read

Grey Highlands clinics appear to be off the schedule this year, with the municipality having deferred its decision on use of its facility during COVID-19 shutdowns.

Elaine St. Pierre of Canadian Blood Services is not looking backwards at that decision.

‘We know they were supportive of the clinics and really wanted to open the doors but we understood their position when they chose not to,’ she said in an email reply to The Herald/Advance.

There has been a lengthy discussion of the matter in a closed session but the vote was to defer, CAO Karen Govan said in an interview.

Because Canadian Blood Services was planning for its fiscal 2021-2022, it needed to set its schedule at that time.

Area residents can book appointments to give blood at a clinic this Saturday, Mar. 20 from 9 to 1 at Highpoint school in Dundalk. Clinics in Collingwood resumed last summer at the Legion.

New safety protocols approved at the national level are in place and all appointments must be pre-booked.

Flesherton was the only place in Grey County where clinics stopped and stayed closed during COVID. The clinic in neighbouring Southgate was brought back in September of 2020. It was the first since December, 2019.

Bluewater board wasn’t immediately ready to open the school in Dundalk. But further talks, including advocacy from Southgate CAO Dave Milliner and MPP Bill Walker, led to reopening.

Since the Flesherton clinic was run on Mondays, a week day, the school location was unlikely to work – especially with time needed to set up and tear down.

Locally, bad weather meant that the most recent clinic in Dundalk on Boxing Day failed to meet its target, so hopes are high for this Saturday’s event.

‘Tomorrow, next week and next month, the need for blood is constant,’ the Canadian Blood Services website says. For those unable to donate blood, financial gifts to the non-profit charity are welcomed to support donor recruitment.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald