Southgate Mall may be closed to the public today, but the ownership of the mall has agreed to help out the American Red Cross for two much needed blood drives, according to spokeswoman Alexandria Harris.

"Since the outbreak of COVID 19 in the United States, we have seen an alarming number of blood drives cancelled nationwide," said Harris. "Here in the Missoula area that means we've lost of our high school accounts, universities and businesses who are not able to open their doors to us to host blood drives. When Southgate mall heard of this problem they said if the red Cross wants to host any blood drives with us then you can use our space for the next few weeks or months, however long this goes on to host those blood drives."

Harris provided details about the two blood drives to be conducted at the mall.

"We have one scheduled for this Friday, April 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and then we have another one scheduled next Wednesday on April 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.," she said. "Both of those will be located right inside the front entrance to the mall at Clock Court."

Harris also provided details on what blood donors should bring with them.

Donors need to bring a form of identification, such as a passport of a driver's license," she said. "You just need to make sure that you feel healthy enough to donate blood and especially during this time we will take your temperature to make sure it's below our requirement , just to make sure the virus doesn't spread."

The Red Cross will be checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering the drive to make sure they are healthy, as well as providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive and throughout the donation process. They will be spacing beds to follow social distancing practices between donors, in addition to increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.

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