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During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for blood donations remains high.
Traditionally, one of the largest semi-annual blood drives in the Las Cruces area is hosted by Barnett Harley-Davidson at 2600 Lakeside Dr.
More than a blood drive, the multiday event rewards donors with $10 gasoline vouchers redeemable at area Pic Quik locations. In addition, each donor is eligible to win various raffle prizes and a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The 2020 event will be different because of the pandemic, and it will include testing for every donor to determine whether they have COVID-19 antibodies in their blood.
The antibody test—authorized by the Food and Drug Administration—will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms.
Some researchers believe the presence of antibodies may provide protection from reinfection with the virus, although there is no hard evidence indicating how long any such antibody-related immunity might last.
The 2020 blood drive will be structured so that appropriate social distancing is practiced to the greatest possible extent.
The blood drive will be held every Wednesday and Saturday through July 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the finale being held July 23-26. The drawing for the motorcycle will be held the week of July 27.
While walk-ins will be accommodated if possible, appointments are strongly recommended. To make an appointment, visit www.vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825.