The Canadian Blood Services is changing their criteria for blood donors in response to the Zika virus threat. Northeastern Territory Manager, Joanne Drake, says they are implementing a 21 day waiting period before donating blood following travel outside of Canada, the continental US, and Europe. Anyone travelling to a malaria risk country will have to wait a year before donating.

Drake says these new stipulations are going to impact the number of donations, and she is urging anyone who is able to donate to do so. She also says new donors are critical this time of year, to help offset the number of regular donors who can’t come in because of travel.

The next blood donor clinic in Timmins is on February 24th and 25th. Drake is asking anyone who plans to travel to give before you go. Book an appointment on the blood donor website or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE.