OGDEN, Utah, Nov. 29, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Weber State University and the American Red Cross, in collaboration with local businesses, civic and religious organizations, are planning a community blood drive this holiday season.
The blood drive will be held this week, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Dee Events Center on the Ogden WSU campus. As a COVID-19 safety precaution, participants are required to schedule an appointment to donate. To register, visit this link.
The event is open to all, including students, faculty, staff and community members. Blood donations will also be screened for COVID-19 antibodies. A donor’s blood, who has fully recovered from COVID-19, may contain antibodies that can attack the virus. This “convalescent plasma” is being evaluated as a possible treatment for currently ill COVID-19 patients, so donations could help save the lives of patients battling this disease.
The goal of the drive is 1,000 donations, which would make it the largest Red Cross community drive in Utah in more than a decade, the news release said. Donations will help provide lifesaving blood to 2,500 hospitals across the country, including 45 local area hospitals in Utah.
“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 who is eligible to register now to reserve a space.”
High school and college blood drives account for as much as 20% of donations during the school year.
Weber State’s community blood drive was organized because donations traditionally drop between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the news release said. Along with COVID-19, the cold and flu season also hits this time of year. Donations at the drive will help prevent delays in lifesaving medical care for patients during the holidays.
“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.
Weber State Athletics initiated the effort and is coordinating with groups across campus, including the Alumni Association, WSUSA, Clubs and Organizations, Campus Recreation and LDSSA, as well as local businesses, civic, religious, military and first-responder organizations.
The Dee Events Center will adhere to the Red Cross standards of safety and infection control. To ensure the health of staff and donors, they have established a number of precautions:
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, clicking here or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) and use sponsor code BleedPurple.