Canadian Blood Services is temporarily postponing blood donation events in Kingston as well as other eastern Ontario communities, including Ottawa.
UPDATE: On February 13, Canadian Blood Services reports, in part:
“The Concourse Gate production and distribution facility in Ottawa, ON is resuming normal supply chain and stem cell operations on Monday, Feb. 15. after a voluntary controlled shutdown last week. All blood collections in Ottawa, Kingston and surrounding areas and cord blood collections at our partnering hospitals in Ottawa and Brampton will resume on Feb. 15.”
This measure is being taken to accommodate a controlled shut down of the Ottawa facility, where blood donations in the region are processed before distribution to hospitals, following notification of five confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving employees and contractors at the site. The impacted location is not accessible to the public or donors.
“Our decision to temporarily close our Concourse Gate site and postpone collection events was steered by our commitment to, above all else, safeguard employees, our operations and our essential products and services for the patients who rely on us,” says Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services.
The notification of donors with appointments affected by this closure were made by Canadian Blood Services donors beginning February 5. Those donors were asked to re-book their appointments after February 14, when production and distribution are expected to resume following a deep cleaning of the site.
The organization is reasuring the public that these changes to collection events do not affect Canadian Blood Services’ ability to “provide a safe and secure supply of blood products that patients can rely on to improve their health and well-being… stem cell operations at the site will continue only to meet the needs of a small number of patients who are in the middle of their treatment and whose lives depend on specific products from this site.”
Additional support will come from its Edmonton stem cell operations site as the two sites are designated backups for one another.
“We made the decision to close out of an abundance of caution. We plan for disruptions like these and benefit from a national network that enables the rest of the country to come to the aid of an impacted region or province,” said Dr. Sher. “We are confident the work we have invested in our business continuity plans and capabilities will enable us to continue to deliver lifesaving products and services to those in need.”
“We are grateful to blood donors for their ongoing support during these unprecedented times and we look forward to welcoming them back once we are able to re-open our facility,” Dr.Sher added.