EDMONTON -- Canadian Blood Services is celebrating the loyalty of donors during the pandemic as it marks National Blood Donor Week.

CBS says the demand for blood hasn’t slowed amid COVID-19 and they want to thank Albertans for their dedication.

“The support was really strong, but with the lockdown lifting we’re really needing that support to come out now over the summer months,” said Lisa Castro, Canadian Blood Services territory manager.

A recent ISPOS poll commissioned by CBS found 97 per cent of donors still feel safe donating blood.

Canadian Blood Services says precautions such as COVID-19 screening, physical distancing and increased sanitization have been implemented for the entirety of the pandemic to keep donors safe.

“Canadians really rely on us to keep that blood supply strong and safe,” said Castro. “And we’re really counting on blood donors across Canada to help us.”

The organization is hopeful a steady flow of donations continues as restrictions ease.

“With the long weekends fast approaching, we have the July long weekend coming up and from now until then we still have approximately 900 open appointments that are available in Edmonton and surrounding communities.”

Appointments to donate can be booked online, over the phone or on the GiveBlood app.

“We’re hoping that more new donors will take the time to make a difference and ensure patients receive blood when they need it most.”

National Blood Donor Week is June 13 to 19.