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Tucson Roadrunners to host blood drive

TUCSON (KVOA) - In a press release Thursday, the Tucson Roadrunners, an American Hockey League affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes, announced the team has partnered with Vitalant, Arizona’s largest non-profit community provider to host a community blood drive on Wednesday, July 1.

The blood drive will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until 5:00 p.m at the La Quinta Inn on 102 North Alvernon Way in Tucson.  

To ensure that social distancing is in place, the team has recommended that donors schedule an appointment online ahead of time. Donors will also be required to bring and wear a mask. The blood drive will take place in the Montezuma room at the La Quinta.  

All blood donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies with an authorized Food and Drug Administration test. The test indicates if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms.  

However, the antibody test is not a way for a donor to find out if he or she is currently infected with this virus. 

While a positive antibody test does not mean that someone is immune to COVID-19, it does mean that they may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma and help people who are still recovering from coronavirus infection.  Blood donors will be able to log onto their Vitalant confidential donor portal to access test results within three weeks after their donation. 

“Patient blood needs have substantially increased now that elective surgeries are resuming across our state,” Sid Lewis, Sr. Director of Donor Recruitment for Vitalant’s Southwest Division said in a press release Thursday.  “Every day, patients continue to depend on blood transfusions for surgery, transplants, cancer treatment and ongoing medical needs.” 

While donors of all blood types are needed, the event organizers said O-negative is always in greatest demand. 

Donors will be gifted one complimentary ticket for a 2020-21 Roadrunners home game and a voucher for a free burger from Whataburger. All donors will also be entered into a drawing for Roadrunners Prizes.

Alexis Berdine

Alexis Berdine is an Investigative Multi-Media Journalist at KVOA.

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