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Law Enforcement, OneBlood Partner To Raise Awareness Of Plasma Donations

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
LuAnn Hunt
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Federal, Florida and local law enforcement officials who have recovered from COVID-19 are partnering with OneBlood to raise awareness about plasma donations.

OneBlood is collecting and distributing plasma seven days a week throughout its service area, which includes nearly all of Florida and much of the Southeast.

“Donating convalescent plasma is one way I can help others on their road to recovery. We’re all in this global pandemic together and the more opportunities we each choose to help one another, the better off we’ll all be,” U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe said.

Jacksonville FBI Special Agent in Charge Rachel Rojas said she still can’t taste or smell months after getting disease twice. But she said giving back to the community and saving lives by donating convalescent plasma has offered her new hope.

“Being a survivor of COVID-19 and reading about how this disease is taking people’s lives and how plasma can save a life, I really do feel that it’s important,” Rojas said. “If I can contribute in any way and make an impact to save somebody’s life, then I want to do that.”

Leon County Deputy Paul Salvo was sick with coronavirus for about 12 days in August. He said he’s already donated twice, and it’s a simple way to save lives.

“I hate needles. I mean it was painless. As everyone said everyone at OneBlood was very professional. Just made it as painless and as easy as possible. It’s just about an hour of your time,” Salvo said.

Survivors can donate every 28 days as long as they have antibodies.

OneBlood Senior Vice President Susan Forbes said there is an increased need for both plasma and blood donations due to the pandemic.

“The pandemic has indefinitely disrupted our traditional model for collecting blood. A sustained donor response is needed,” she said. “We encourage people to donate blood every time they are eligible and this will help ensure a ready blood supply at all times. Donating blood is an easy way to make a positive impact on your community.”

To donate plasma to OneBlood, a person needs to be 14 days symptom-free of COVID-19 and have at least one positive test result. 

Brendan Rivers comes to WJCT News with years of experience reporting and hosting news for several stations in the Daytona Beach area.