PHOENIX — Only days before his inauguration, Tempe Mayor Corey Woods was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“The reality is Arizona has been very hard hit by COVID-19. The zip code I live in Tempe, 85281, has been a very hard-hit area.”
Mayor Woods is now back at work, and on Wednesday, he found himself lying on a gurney at the Phoenix Fire Academy donating convalescent plasma.
Convalescent plasma is antibodies from recovered COVID-19 survivors which scientists say can help patients currently hospitalized battling the disease.
“I think about all the firefighters and police officers in the city of Tempe that frankly have the highest positivity rate due to the nature of their job,” Woods said.
Woods joined Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers in calling on people who have recovered from COVID to donate their convalescent plasma.
Phoenix’s Vitalant, one the nation’s largest blood collection companies, has joined the Federal COVID response - Operation Warp Speed.
Vitalant is helping build a 400,000-unit national stockpile of convalescent plasma. So far 35,000 units have been collected nationally.
In Arizona, Vitalant has distributed 6,200 units to hospitals to treat patients. “Many of us are waiting for the day for the vaccine against COVID-19,” said Gallego, “but under the best circumstances it’s going to take time to be available.”
Gallego said more than 300 Phoenix police, firefighters and emergency medical responders were diagnosed with COVID-19. Many of those first responders who have recovered are now donating their convalescent plasma.
Because of the severe COVID-19 outbreak in Arizona, the state was chosen as one of 14 regions the federal government is targeting for plasma collection.
If you have recovered from COVID-19 and want to donate your convalescent plasma, contact Vitalant by visiting its website or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).