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Gila River Arena to host blood, plasma drive to address shortages

(Getty Images/Scott Olson)

PHOENIX — Gila River Arena announced it will host a blood and convalescent plasma drive to address the decline in donations made during the coronavirus pandemic.

The drive will be held Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in partnership with the Arizona Coyotes, Dignity Health, Vitalant and Streets of New York, according to a press release.

“Due to safety measures implemented because of the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of blood drives and more than 17,000 blood donations had to be cancelled across Arizona over the over the past five months,” Sid Lewis, Sr, Director of Donor Recruitment for Vitalant’s Southwest Division, said in the release.

“Donors of all blood types are needed to fill the gap, especially O-negative, the universal donor.”

Donors will be required to wear a face covering and social distance at all times and have been encouraged to pre-schedule an appointment online.

All donated blood will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. A positive antibody test does not reveal if a donor had COVID-19 at the time of donation, but does mean a patient may be eligible to donate their convalescent plasma to help others recover from the coronavirus.

Blood donors will be able to access their antibody test results via an online portal approximately two weeks after donating.

Those donating blood will receive one complimentary ticket to an upcoming Coyotes home game, a voucher for a slice of cheese pizza and a Pepsi and will be automatically entered into a raffle for a hockey stick signed by the 2019-20 Coyotes team.

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