MEDFORD, Ore-- Around 12 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, Common Block Brewery and the Red Cross held their 3rd annual 'Pint for a Pint' blood drive. People were able to donate their blood from 12 to 6 and were given a ticket that would get them a free beer afterwards.
"Every drive that we've done every year has filled up," said Rachel Koning who is the event planner for Common Block. "There's definitely an interest in people coming out here and donating blood which is awesome.
However, what made this event different compared to previous year is the Covid-19 pandemic. This time around, people who donated their blood were able to find out whether or not they have Covid-19 antibodies. Christiana Martin, who is the Account Manager for Blood Services, says that people will be able to see if they have Covid-19 antibodies between seven and ten days after their donation.
She says that people who want to see if they have Covid-19 antibodies will have to go and look up the results themselves. Memebers of the Red Cross will not be notified if they have Covid-19 antibodies. She said that this is because the Red Cross doesn't have enough staff members to notify all of the people who could have the antibodies.
"They will not be notified if they test for Covid-19 antibodies," said Martin. "They can either look into the Red Cross app for their donor record. We just don't have the resources to contact every donor, so it's really just up to them to find their result."
According to Martin, the Red Cross has cancelled around 100 blood drives since the start of the pandemic. Most recently, she has had to cancel all blood drives at school schools in southern Oregon since students will not be attending classes for the fall term.
Today the Red Cross had 31 appointments set up throughout the day. By the end of the day, 24 people showed up for their appointments and only 21 people were allowed to donate, giving the Red Cross 21 pints of blood.
Jamie Cook, who lives in downtown Medford, has been donating her blood at this specific blood drive for the past three years. She believes that it is important for people to donate blood, especially now with the Covid-19 pandemic.
" I think there is always a need for blood," said Cook. "With certain things like coronavirus or shortages in hospitals or natural disasters or anything I think there is always a need for blood."