OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – A blood drive at Weber State University aims to be the state’s biggest in the last ten years. The goal? One thousand blood donors and to seize the blood drive record currently held by the Larry H. Miller group with 715 donations.
Due to the pandemic, thousands of blood drives were canceled across the country despite a continuous need for blood and patients everywhere depending on lifesaving transfusions.
This brings the Red Cross new blood donation challenges, normally high school and college blood drives account for 20% of the organization’s donations.
That’s where a little old fashioned Utah competitiveness steps in and steps up.
According to Red Cross Spokesperson Cynthia De La Torre, Weber State learned the Larry Miller organization held the State record for the largest blood drive with 715 of their employees giving blood. Along with the want to help, that also brought out some friendly Wildcat winning spirit. The school decided to get arms on the donation table and get a thousand donations to set the state record and take the Larry H. Miller group’s crown.
The blood drive is open to everyone, including students, faculty, staff, and community members. There are not any additional risks for COVID during the donation process. You will not increase your chance of catching coronavirus by donating blood.
The Red Cross will also be screening for COVID-19 antibodies. A person who has recovered from COVID-19 may contain antibodies that can attack the virus. The “convalescent plasma” is currently being used as a treatment for currently ill COVID-19 patients, so donations could help save the lives of patients battling the virus.
According to Cynthia De La Torre, “Weber State wanted to help out during the holidays, despite the pandemic, cold, and flu season. They thought 1000 donations was a good goal.”
The school’s athletic department initiated the project, coordinating with groups on campus, including the Alumni Association, WSUSA, Clubs and Organizations, Campus Recreation and LDSSA. Many local businesses, civic, religious, military, and first responder organizations are also participating.
“Weber State Wildcats are committed to serving the community,” said University President Brad Mortensen. “This blood drive is an excellent way to help in 2020. I encourage everyone eligible to register now to reserve a space.”
“As an emergency blood recipient myself, it is truly incredible to see the strength of the partnership between the American Red Cross and Weber State Athletics to bring the community to give the gift of life at the end of such a challenging year,” said the Executive Director for Northern Utah/Southwest Wyoming Chapter of the American Red Cross, Benjamin Donner.
The Dee Events Center, is the where the blood drive takes place until Dec 4.
With the pandemic, there are safety protocols you should know. The Center will adhere to the Red Cross standards of safety and infection control to ensure the staff and donors’ health.
- Checking temperatures of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before entering the drives, as well as throughout the donation process.
- Following social distancing between donors, including entry, donation, and refreshment areas.
- Ensuring face masks or coverings are worn by both staff and donors.
- Disinfecting surfaces, equipment, and donor-touched areas routinely.
- Wearing gloves and changing gloves often.
- Using sterile collection sets and an aseptic scrub for every donation.
- Eligible individuals are urged to make an appointment to donate blood now to help patients in need by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and use sponsor code BleedPurple.
The blood drive will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 from 8. A.M. to 6 P.M. in the Dee Events Center on Ogden campus. As a COVID-19 safety precaution, participants are required to schedule an appointment to donate.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, Fever, cough, sore throat congestion or stomach related, or if you had close contact with someone who is diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 in the past 28 days, you will need to talk with the Red Cross and possibly reschedule your donation appointment
To register, visit this link, weberstatesports.com/blooddrive.
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