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Coronavirus prompts changes for WNY blood donation centers, hospitals

Blood centers worry that the number of eligible donors could also go down as the virus spreads.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Western New York hospitals and blood donation centers are being impacted by the coronavirus spread.

ConnectLife says that it has seen a decline in local blood donations because people are afraid of coronavirus and being out in public spaces for blood drives. 

Local blood centers worry that the number of eligible donors could also go down as the virus spreads, so they are encouraging all eligible donors to make and keep their appointments to donate.

They are also and encouraging all blood drive sponsors to continue hosting their scheduled drives.

ConnectLife also asked potential blood donors to take inventory of their own health.

"Blood donors must be healthy, feeling well and free of respiratory illness symptoms to be eligible to donate," it said in a Saturday statement. "It is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives."

Local hospitals are also taking their precautions to keep the public, and to keep their patients safe.

Catholic Health announced it is limiting their visiting hours at local hospitals and nursing homes to stop the spread of illnesses.

Daily visiting hours at these facilities will now be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at these facilities:

  • Mercy Hospital of Buffalo
  • Kenmore Mercy Hospital
  • Mount St. Mary’s Hospital
  • Sisters of Charity Hospital and its St. Joseph Campus
  • Father Baker Manor
  • McAuley Residence
  • St. Catherine Labouré Health Care Center
  • Mercy Nursing Facility at OLV

The V.A. is also limiting access to its facilities. There will be only one entrance for veterans and visitors where screening questions will be asked.

For the Buffalo V.A., use the outpatient entrance, and in Batavia, use the Building 4, patio entrance.

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