New York City’s blood banks have just three days worth of supplies left and officials are begging residents to donate by enticing them with New York Jets tickets, $900 worth of Krispy Kreme donuts, and free passes to the Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building.
Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters during his City Hall news conference on Tuesday that the blood banks across the five boroughs are in dire need due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayor said that the situation has become ‘urgent’ as the coronavirus pandemic has deterred New Yorkers from giving blood. In normal times, the city has as much as seven days’ worth of supplies, but that has been reduced.
‘The goal here is to get 25,000 New Yorkers to give blood this month so we can get that supply back up,’ de Blasio said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (right) donates blood alongside New York Blood Center CEO Dr. Christopher D. Hillyer last week. The mayor is urging New Yorkers to donate blood this month as citywide blood banks are suffering from a shortage
The NYBC announced a sweepstakes in which donors who give blood this month could win prizes, including free monthly supply of a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts for a year. The retail value of the prize is $900
Blood donors who enter the sweepstakes could also win free passes to next season’s opening day for the New York Jets. Jets players are seen above in action against Miami during a game on Sunday on East Rutherford, New Jersey
Another prize being offered is free passes to the observatory decks of 30 Rockefeller Center as well as the Empire State Building (seen left from Top of the Rock)
‘The good news is that not only is it the right thing to do, not only will you help save a life and you will feel great inside that you did something so good…but now you will also gt an opportunity to win some great prizes.’
The New York Blood Center announced a ‘sweepstakes’ on its website in which 50 donors could enter a drawing to win one of eight prizes.
They include seven pairs of tickets to the 70th-floor observation deck at 30 Rockefeller Center, better known as ‘Top of the Rock’; a six-person pass to the two observatories atop the Empire State Building; two ‘coaches club’ tickets to next year’s New York Jets opening day; and a dozen free donuts each month for a year from Krispy Kreme.
Other prizes include passes aboard the New York City ferry Hornblower and electronic gift cards from TANGO.
Dr. Christopher D. Hillyer, the president and CEO of New York Blood Center, told WNBC-TV that ‘we need about 2,000 donations a day and 25,000 additional donations this coming month.’
Hillyer said that the city is raising awareness of the problem because the combination of the frigid winter weather and the ongoing pandemic will make it even harder to collect blood from donors.
‘Typically we [collect blood] in office buildings, churches and synagogues, schools, universities, all basically closed,’ Hillyer said.
‘We need you to come out to our fixed site centers on our website and make a donation plan and timed appointment.’
While COVID-19 has dominated the headlines, it is easy for the public to lose sight of the fact that hospitals still need blood to treat those suffering from a variety of non-COVID-related ailments, Hillyer noted.
‘During COVID people still go to the hospital with trauma: mothers delivering babies, babies who are premature, surgeries, cancer patients, all these patients need blood… we need everyone to come out at this critical juncture so that we don’t move from critical shortage to dangerous shortage,’ he urged.
Meanwhile, the city continues to grapple with a spike in coronavirus cases.
City officials have told New Yorkers over 65 and those with underlying conditions to stay home amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi, left, appeared alongside Bill de Blasio, right, Tuesday as the mayor’s administration urged senior citizens to stay at home amid a surge in coronavirus cases
Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi appeared alongside de Blasio on Tuesday as the mayor’s administration made the announcement.
A statement read: ‘Effective immediately, the City’s Health Commissioner is advising older adults and people with underlying health conditions who are at an increased risk of severe COVID-related illness to limit activities outside the home, except leaving home to travel to work or school, or for essential purposes including medical care, grocery shopping or pharmacy necessities.’
Governor Andrew Cuomo later clarified that the announcement was ‘not a restriction’ and said senior citizens are ‘not imprisoned in your own home’.
He told reporters: ‘There is no restriction on people over 70 leaving their home.’
The NYC advisory issued Tuesday ‘also applies to household members and caregivers of these individuals’.
‘Those covered by this advisory should also wear a face covering at all times indoors and outdoors including when around members of their own household who have known exposure to COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms of the virus, or frequently interact with the public’, the statement continued.
But Cuomo said: ‘New York City offered guidance, advice, which is the same advice and guidance that we have been issuing and they have been issuing and every expert has been issuing since this started.
‘Senior citizens should be on alert, people over 70 should be alert. You’re 70 years old, you can do whatever you want to do in life. My advice is: Be careful. You are not imprisoned in your own home.’
Help appears to be on the way, however, as Cuomo announced on Wednesday that New York’s first delivery of the Pfizer vaccine will be enough for 170,000 New Yorkers.
‘We expect, if all safety and efficacy approvals are granted, to receive these doses on December 15,’ the governor announced.
Coronavirus cases in NYC hit more than 290,000 Tuesday; 24,274 people in the city have died.
De Blasio tweeted on Wednesday that there were 1,809 new citywide cases of coronavirus and 146 new hospitalizations.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk