Blood

Most Canada Day events have been cancelled because of COVID-19 but plans for a first-time blood donor clinic in Peachland are going ahead. Shown here is a blood donor clinic in Calgary.

Showing your Canadian patriotism in Peachland tomorrow will give you a real shot in the arm - literally.

As in most communities, the traditional July 1 events - a parade, a concert, a cake-cutting, and fireworks - have all been scrubbed due to COVID-19.

But Canadian Blood Services is going ahead with the organization's first-ever staging of a blood donation clinic in Peachland.

"Now that hospitals across B.C. have resumed many procedures that were cancelled, the need for blood is on the rise," Gayle Voyer, CBS manager for the Interior, said in an interview Monday.

Using equipment dispatched from Kelowna, mobile blood clinics are regularly held in West Kelowna, Penticton, and other Okanagan communities. But it's the first time such an event has been held in Peachland.

"It's brand new for Peachland, and we still have about 20 donation slots available for anybody who wants to help out," Voyer said.

Physical distancing guidelines have been developed to ensure the mobile collections can proceed safely, Voyer said. Those interested in giving blood at the Peachland clinic, between 10 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., are asked to pre-register either online at blood.ca, or by calling 1.888.2.Donate.

When the Peachland clinic was being organized, in co-operation with town representatives planning other Canada Day events, the intention was to provide donors with Canadian-themed trinkets of appreciation, such as Maple Leaf flags and pins.

"But with COVID-19, we've had to cancel those sorts of things," Voyer said. "For those that donate, their reward will be knowing that they're helping other Canadians in need."