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Community blood drive held at Carmel golf club to ensure supply amid virus

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH)– The Versiti Blood Center has been making rounds around central Indiana with its “Bloodmobile,” asking donors to help them stock up for a need they may have after the COVID-19 pandemic slows down.

With elective surgeries shut down throughout the state, they have plenty of supply exclusively for emergency surgeries. In the mean time, they’ve been asking Hoosiers to make sure they will still have plenty when things go back to normal.

“We’re trying to schedule people out towards the summer,” Madison Fields, a Versiti blood drive team leader, said. “When the elective surgeries start happening again, we’ll need the donations then.”

In Carmel, Versiti hosted a blood drive at the Brookshire Golf Club from 12 – 6 p.m. to encourage donors to join in this effort. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard wanted to make sure residents did their part.

“We asked the community to step up and make sure we have a sufficient amount of blood for emergency surgeries and the public has stepped up,” Brainard, said. “We have a lot of people donating blood and making a real difference.”

The Versiti team is reassuring people that while COVID-19 is still a threat, they are taking every step to make sure the staff and donors are participating in\ a safe environment.

“We’re taking all the precautions, using hand sanitizers and wiping everything down after each donor,” Fields said.

Fields says even though the coronavirus has been keeping most people inside, they’ve been seeing more people giving blood throughout the region.

“We’ve had an influx of new donors, which is awesome,” she said. They’ve found willing donors at dozens of locations with their “Bloodmobile,” including in Noblesville, Shelbyville, West Lafayette, Martinsville and Terre Haute.

The blood drive is appointment only so people can maintain safe social distance. Versiti is asking Hoosier donors to sign up online to donate or find a community drive near you.