September 10, 2020
Salt Lake County Partners with the American Red Cross to Hold Critical Blood Drives Amid COVID-19
Salt Lake County, UT – The Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office is pleased to partner with the American Red Cross to hold a series of blood drives that are especially critical during this pandemic.
The Mayor’s Office is providing the Mountain America Expo Center space, an area large enough to ensure proper social distancing to protect donors and staff. The Mountain America Credit Union and the Salt Lake County Health Department are taking the lead in recruiting blood donors for a series of six drives occurring September through November.
“We are fortunate to have the space available to help the Red Cross maintain a steady blood supply throughout the fall months,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “While we are all trying to navigate living our lives in a very different way, we must still do what we can to ensure hospitals have the blood necessary to help save lives.”
To slow the spread of the coronavirus between March and June, school and business closures resulted in the cancellation of 37,000 blood drives across the U.S. and hundreds of thousands of donation appointments.
“The need for blood is ongoing, especially during these uncertain times,” said Heidi Ruster, Red Cross CEO for Utah-Nevada. “With more than 80% of blood donations to the American Red Cross donated at community blood drives, local organizations and public entities like the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office, Salt Lake County Health Department, Mountain America Credit Union, and Rio Tinto Kennecott, play a vital role in helping the Red Cross ensure blood is available for patients at 45 hospitals across Utah and 2,500 hospitals nationwide. It really is the perfect partnership trifecta to leverage essential resources to help accomplish a lifesaving mission.”
The Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to give blood to support kids fighting cancer, patients with sickle cell disease, and others facing serious illnesses. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency personnel reach for in trauma situations when there is not time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive is the most transfused blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients.
To donate, please register by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS to schedule a donation appointment with sponsor code MTNAMEEXPO. Donors are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with CDC public guidance. You can save time with RapidPass®. Complete your pre-donation reading and health history at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or with the Blood Donor App before your appointment. If you have eligibility questions, you can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive schedule at Mountain America: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- September 28 & 29
- October 5 & 12
- November 2 & 23
COVID-19 Antibody Testing & Safety Precautions:
The Red Cross is testing blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.