October 19, 2021
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Donating blood is essential

  • Vitalant was at Sonoma Mountain Village on September 24 for their monthly blood donation event. If you are healthy and able to donate, please make an appointment for their next event on Wednesday, October 21 at Sally Tomatoes. Visit, click schedule an appointment, and use the sponsor code: Rohnert Park. Visit to learn more about Vitalant's organization and mission. Photo by Tracy Si

By: Irene Hilsendager
October 16, 2020

With many high schools and colleges holding virtual classes or unable to host on-site blood drives, we rely on our local blood drives to take place. More than 800 blood drives have been forced to cancel throughout our country this fall. But patients need blood which comes from generous donors like you.

Please give generously when attending the up-coming blood drives in our areas.

1. Oct. 18 at the Graton Fire Protection District (inside the truck bay) at 3750 Hwy. 116 N., Sebastopol from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

2. Oct. 21 at SOMO Village, Rohnert Park from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 

3. Oct. 21 at 7425 Bodega Ave., (fire station) Sebastopol.

4. Nov. 19 at SOMO Village, RP from 10 a.m.-3p.m.

All donors and staff will have their temperatures checked prior to entering a blood drive or a donation center. Also, all donors will receive a COVID-19 antibody test.

What is the antibody test?

An antibody test screens for antibodies in your blood, which are formed when fighting an infection, like COVID-19. An antibody test assesses whether your immune system has responded to the infection, not if the virus is currently present. The COVID-19 antibody test is authorized by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Donors who test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may have the unique opportunity to help patients fighting the disease.

In accordance with CDC guidelines, all donors are required to wear a face covering or mask. Valve face masks are not permitted. All blood  drives follow social distancing guidelines, including spacing out donors’ beds, waiting and refreshment areas.

Donating blood products is essential to community health and the need for blood products is constant. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations or are operating under a phased reopening plan.

Vitalant (blood bank) follow the highest standards of safety and infection control and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need. As hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, donors are urged to give now to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.

“We need people to start turning out in force to give blood,” urged Peter Marks, M.D. as fear about the coronavirus is keeping people from wanting to donate blood. Kim Walsh from Vitalant says “All blood types are needed because of Hurricane Delta.” We are encouraging donors in unaffected areas to give blood or platelets to help patients locally and in the affected storm areas.” As a national blood service, we provide and help with generous donors. Vitalant can distribute blood around the country to where it is needed most. 

You can also make an appointment by visiting or call 1-877-258-4825. Blood donation is an essential activity as described by our federal, state and local governments. Vitalant has implemented additional safety protocol to protect donors.