In a normal year, the holiday season is when the need is highest for blood donors, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that need has grown.

“The last two weeks of December are generally a really challenging time for us,” Territory Manager for Canadian Blood Services Elaine StPierre says.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought forward a new problem: cancelled or missed appointments. “One of the biggest changes in what we need is the necessity to create an appointment,” she says. Before the pandemic, a cancelled or missed appointment would not be a big deal, since walk-ins were allowed. “Because of COVID, that is no longer possible,” StPierre says. Appointments are now mandatory to donate blood, making filling missed appointments much more difficult. “If you do have one of those spots, we need you to keep it,” StPierre says.

If a clinic has no spots available, she suggests keeping an eye on CBS’ website to see if spots open up closer to the day of the local clinic.

A blood donor clinic will be held from 2 to 7 PM at the Faith Baptist Church in Huntsville on December 21st, at the YMCA in Gravenhurst on the 22nd, and the Sportplex in Bracebridge on the 28th.