FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
GLENDALE, ARIZONA -- The Arizona Coyotes, Gila River Arena and Dignity Health announced today that the team has partnered with Vitalant and Streets of New York to host a community blood and convalescent plasma drive on August 3 and 4 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. to fill the gap of thousands of blood donations lost due to the pandemic.
Coyotes President & CEO Xavier Gutierrez will kick off the blood drive with a donation at 8:00 am on Monday, August 3.
Gila River Arena has implemented the VenueShield program which requires guests to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask at all times. It is recommended that donors make an appointment at vitalant.org/Coyotes prior to the event date to avoid waiting in long lines. Donors will enter Gila River Arena at the far east door of Gate 4. Parking will be available in Lot G on the east side of the arena.
Vitalant is testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies . The test indicates if the donor's immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms. While a positive antibody test does not indicate if someone has 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 can log onto their Vitalant confidential donor portal to access test results about two weeks after their donation. For more information, visit vitalant.org/antibodytest.
Convalescent plasma donations encouraged at Gila River Arena . . . Fully recovered COVID-19 survivors who have applied online at vitalant.org/COVIDfree at least 48 hours in advance may be able to donate convalescent plasma on Aug. 3 - 4 at Gila River Arena. The Arizona patient need for convalescent plasma has outpaced donations by more than 400%, which is the only FDA-approved antibody treatment available to COVID-19 patients who are critically ill in the hospitals. To donate convalescent plasma, recovered COVID-19 patients must meet eligibility requirements, including a prior laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19, either by a positive swab test or a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. They must also be symptom-free for at least 28 days and meet all additional FDA requirements for automated plasma donations. Potential convalescent plasma donors should schedule a whole blood appointment at vitalant.org/coyotes and apply online at vitalant.org/COVIDfree. Donors who are pre-qualified will be emailed the required documents to be presented at their donation on Aug. 3 - 4 at Gila River Arena.
"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," said Sid Lewis, Sr. Director of Donor Recruitment for Vitalant's Southwest Division. "Donors of blood types are needed to fill the gap, especially O-negative, the universal donor."
In appreciation for helping during this crucial time for patients, the blood drive sponsors are expressing their gratitude with the following thank you gifts for donors:
- One (1) complimentary ticket, subject to a $5 facility fee, for a designated 2020-21 Coyotes home game once the schedule is released
- Voucher for a slice of cheese pizza and a Pepsi, courtesy of Streets of New York
- Entered into a raffle for a 2019-20 Coyotes team signed stick
Vitalant ("Vye-TAL-ent") is a national community blood service provider, supplying comprehensive transfusion medicine services for nearly 1,000 hospitals and health care partners for patients in need across 40 states. Vitalant inspires local communities to serve the needs of others and transform lives through the selfless act of donating blood. Every day, almost 5,000 blood donations are needed to meet the needs of people throughout the country, and Vitalant's 800,000 donors supply 1.8 million donations a year. In addition to blood products, Vitalant offers customers transfusion services, medical consulting, quality guidance, ongoing education, research and more. For more information and to schedule a donation, visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Join the conversation about impacting the lives of others on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To learn more about Vitalant's COVID-19 efforts, visit vitalant.org/COVIDfree.
About Dignity Health in Arizona
Dignity Health in Arizona includes six acute care hospitals: Chandler Regional Medical Center, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, which includes Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Westgate Hospital, Arizona General Hospital Laveen and Arizona General Hospital Mesa. From this foundation, Dignity Health in Arizona has expanded into a comprehensive health care system, which includes clinics, specialty hospitals, urgent cares, insurance providers, an accountable care organization and other clinical partnerships. The Dignity Health Medical Group includes hundreds of physicians in Arizona and a wide range of specialties. Dignity Health in Arizona is part of Dignity Health, one of the nation's largest health care systems.
About Gila River Arena
Gila River Arena is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility situated on 13.5 acres in the City of Glendale, Arizona. The Arena is home to the Arizona Coyotes NHL Hockey team and entertains over one-million visitors annually through concerts, family shows and sporting events. The arena anchors the Westgate Entertainment District located on 223 acres for shopping, dining, entertainment and commercial offices. www.gilariverarena.com.