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COVID-19 Updates for Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Here are some of the latest updates on COVID-19 in our area:

Governor says state lab doubles testing capacity, prisoners to make hand sanitizer

Statement from Brian Hanft, Director of Public Health:

“Iowa now has 23 cases of COVID-19, announced 3/16/2020. No confirmed cases in any northern Iowa counties as of 3/17/2020 .CG Public Health is communicating daily with key organizations, such as MercyOne North Iowa, involved in preparedness and response to ensure staffing and resources are maintained. A lot of individuals are coming to the Emergency department (ED) with mild symptoms, wanting to be tested. If you’re having mild symptoms, please self-isolate and recover at home regardless if it’s for a cold, flu or COVID-19. Data shows 80% of cases are considered mild. Monitor your symptoms closely. If symptoms drastically worsen, call 641-428-7777 for screening prior to being seen by a medical professional. Coming into the ED strains the healthcare resources needed to treat the other 20% vulnerable population impacted by COVID-19. Going to the ED puts you and others at risk to spread and contract illness. Stay home when you don’t feel well. This is key to flattening the curve.”



DES MOINES, IOWA (March 17, 2020) – LifeServe Blood Center, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other national partners, is urging blood donors to turn out in force to give blood. Across the blood industry, nearly 4,000 blood drives have been cancelled, resulting in some 130,000 fewer blood donations due to concerns regarding COVID-19. Around 500 of those lost donations come from LifeServe Blood Center’s drive cancellations from Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

“It is safe to donate blood,” said Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health. “Part of preparedness includes a robust blood supply. Healthy individuals should schedule an appointment to donate today to ensure that blood is available for those patients who need it.”

There is no substitute for blood and certain hospital patients – those battling cancer, trauma victims, premature babies, mothers during or after delivery – cannot reschedule their need for a lifesaving transfusion.

“Our ability to have a safe and available blood supply is directly related to generous community members continuing to visit our blood drives and donor centers,” said Stacy Sime, LifeServe Blood Center President and CEO. “We believe our blood drives and donor centers are safe places to visit thanks to our regular disinfecting and cleaning, as well as our implementation of social distancing recommendations and additional blood donor screening questions.”

To help recoup blood donations lost as blood drives at schools and businesses cancel in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, LifeServe Blood Center is expanding certain donor center hours.

Des Moines Donor Center Extended Hours
Wednesday, March 18: 9 AM – 7 PM
Sunday, March 22: 8 AM – 1 PM
Sunday, March 29: 8 AM – 1 PM

Fort Dodge Donor Center Extended Hours
Wednesday, March 18:  9 AM – 6 PM
Wednesday, March 25: 9 AM – 6 PM
Wednesday, April 1:  9 AM – 6 PM

Marshalltown Donor Center Extended Hours
Friday, March 20: 8 AM  – 1 PM

Mason City Donor Center Extended Hours
Tuesday, March 17: 9 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday, March 24: 9 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday, March 31: 9 AM – 6 PM

Sioux City Donor Center Extended Hours
Saturday, March 21: 7 AM  – 3 PM
Saturday, March 28  7 AM – 3 PM

Urbandale Donor Center Extended Hours
Thursday, March 19: 9 AM – 7 PM
Sunday, March 22: 8 AM – 1 PM
Sunday, March 29: 8 AM -1 PM

LifeServe is urging healthy, eligible blood donors to book an appointment to ensure appropriate donor flow and social distancing standards can be maintained. Appointments can be made by calling call 800-287-4903 or visiting

LifeServe Blood Center is a non-profit, community based blood center that has served the needs of local hospitals and patients in our regions since 1963. As one of the 15 largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe Blood Center is the SOLE provider of blood and blood products to more than 120 hospitals located across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. LifeServe is committed to saving lives by providing premier service to volunteer blood donors and access to a safe, quality blood supply for hospitals and patients. Your donation with LifeServe will help save your neighbor, a friend, family member or a stranger on the street. YOU make a difference in YOUR community. For more information about blood donation or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 800.287.4903 or visit


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