Vivint Smart Home Arena transformed into donation center for Driven to Assist blood drive
The NBA season is on hold, but that hasn’t stopped Utah Jazz fans from going back inside Vivint Smart Home Arena this week for an important cause.
The Driven to Assist blood drive, a collaboration between the Larry H. Miller Group and the American Red Cross, tipped off Monday and will run through Friday, collecting lifesaving donations from hundreds of Utahns.
“We wanted to find a way we could do good in the community,” said LHM CEO Steve Starks. “This is a way for us to come together and use this facility as a gathering place.”
The blood drive is accepting donors from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day this week. Donors can sign up for an appointment through the American Red Cross by clicking here.
All blood types are needed. Donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health.
“We know that emergencies and health conditions will continue to impact Utahns during the pandemic,” said Greg Miller, director for the LHM Group. “Just one unit of blood can help as many as three people. If we can do our part to enable blood donations during these five days, we know that we can help save countless lives.”
Miller, Starks and Utah Jazz president Jim Olson were among those giving donations earlier this week. So, too was, Dr. Angela Dunn, the Utah epidemiologist who has headed up the state’s COVID-19 response.
“We know the need for blood is going to be forthcoming,” she said. “All of our elective surgeries have opened up, our hospitals are getting more patients, and people haven’t been donating blood as much because they’ve been inside. So this blood drive will be crucial.”
The Utah Department of Health has worked closely with LHM and the Red Cross to ensure donors’ safety.
Precautions to ensure the health of staff and donors include:
- Providing temperature checks of staff and donors before entering a drive
- Providing hand sanitizer before entering the drive and during the donation process
- Enforcing social distancing between donors, including in the entry, donation, and refreshment areas
- Ensuring that both staff and donors wear face masks, coverings, or both
- Disinfecting surfaces, equipment, and donor touched areas on a routine basis
- Wearing gloves and changing gloves often
- Using sterile collection sets and an aseptic scrub for every donation
“The Utah Department of Health worked closely with a lot of stakeholders to make sure this event is safe so we can provide the needed blood to our hospitals,” Dunn said. “It’s a great opportunity to come together during this stressful time and do something good.”
Donors are encouraged to utilize the American Red Cross’ RapidPass and complete the online, pre-donation questionnaire on the day of their appointment to save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App, and sponsor code LHM.
Please bring an acceptable form of ID. To expedite entry and to reduce screening touchpoints, bags (including purses and diaper bags) are not allowed at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Free parking is available at Park Place (lot entrance located on 300 West between North Temple and South Temple streets).