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Important information for next blood drive

To the Editor:
I forward two important items of information from the American Red Cross (ARC) for the upcoming Glencoe Community Blood Drive next Wednesday, April 27, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Glencoe City Center.
The ARC is closely monitoring the Zika virus, a mosquito-transmitted infection recently spreading to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The ARC is committed to taking actions to continue to help ensure the safety of the blood supply. As a precaution, the ARC is asking blood donors who have recently traveled to any of these impacted areas to postpone their donation for more than 28 days after returning to the United States. So if you have traveled in any of these impacted areas and returned to the United States after March 29, you are asked to reschedule your appointment to a later blood drive. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please contact our Scheduling Coordinator Nelda Klaustermeier at 320-864-3475.
Last fall, the ARC introduced RapidPass, a way for blood donors to complete their pre-reading and donation questions online from the comfort and privacy of their home or office. RapidPass is only used to complete the pre-reading and pre-donation questionnaire in advance of your appointment; it does not take the place of scheduling an appointment. American Red Cross expects to reduce the time donors with a RapidPass spend at blood drives by up to 15 minutes. A fair number of donors at our November 2015 blood drive had used the RapidPass online tool, speeding up their check-in process.
If you do decide not to use the online tool, you will be following the usual procedure of completing the required paperwork and questionnaire at the blood drive.
There are some important things to know!
• RapidPass cannot be completed prior to the date of the drive.
• Donors must complete the steps to redeem their pass on the day they donate April 27.
• Donors who do not bring the printed pass with them to their donation or cannot show it on their mobile device, will be asked to complete the questions again.
To use RapidPass, participating donors should follow these steps:
• Visit redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.
• Read the information.
• Answer the questions.
• Print the RapidPass or email the PDF to themselves so that it shows on their mobile device when they come to donate.
We hope this information is helpful to you. Thank you for taking your time to donate your gift of life.
Charleen Engelmann, Coordinator
Glencoe Community Blood Drive