Demand for COVID-19 convalescent plasma rising
San Diego Blood Bank is seeing a sharp increase in hospital orders for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Orders have more than tripled in the last month. On top of local demand, San Diego Blood Bank is being called upon to help supply national surge centers in anticipation of a spike in usage across the country.
San Diego Blood Bank was one of the first blood banks in the country to begin collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma. In addition to supplying local hospitals, San Diego Blood Bank has supported surge centers and other blood banks across the country.
Plasma donations from those who have recovered from COVID-19 are needed to help others who are currently fighting the virus. This is because their plasma has developed antibodies against a virus.
Anyone previously diagnosed with COVID-19 can sign up at www.sandiegobloodbank.org/donateplasma.
To support the efforts, all blood donations are being tested for antibodies as part of SDBB’s standard testing panel in order to qualify donations for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. If a donation tests positive, the plasma in the donated blood may be used to help hospital patients fighting COVID-19.
Historically, convalescent plasma (CCP) has been successfully used to treat SARS, MERS and the Spanish flu, so there is evidence that it may help people suffering from certain infectious diseases like COVID-19.
“We need anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to contact us to see if they are eligible to donate their plasma,” said David Wellis, CEO of San Diego Blood Bank. “The need has already increased over the last couple of weeks and we anticipate even more requests from hospitals as we head into the new year.”
Appointments are required to donate blood and convalescent plasma. To see if you qualify, please visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org or call 619-400-8251.
Mission Trails water project construction update
When looking from the right vantage point towards Mission Trails Regional Park, a large mound of dirt can been seen in the park. What is it? It’s a construction project by the San Diego County Water Authority to upgrade a section of the regional water delivery system. Rest assured, once construction is complete, the dirt hill will be restored and revegetated with native plants – many seeded from the park itself.
Work efforts on a new flow regulatory structure (FRS II) are beginning to take shape with many of the wall sections installed. The FRS II will be an underground concrete water tank that will store slightly less than five million gallons of water and be used to balance flows in the aqueduct system. FRS II will be the second underground water tank in the park – both work to efficiently move water through the region. Construction efforts also include a new flow control facility, north and south pipe connections and removal of existing blue vent stacks.
Some trails in the northwest area of the park are closed during construction hours (Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), with portions closed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“Please continue avoiding trails marked as closed during working hours,” said Aaron Trimm, Water Authority construction manager and senior engineer. “Heavy construction equipment and vehicles are now regularly using the closed trails during construction, which make it necessary to close them to keep hikers and cyclists safe.”
The Water Authority has created an interactive map that shows the location of the closed trails. Visit www.sdcwa.org/mission-trails-FRS to view the map and learn more information about the project. Please call the toll-free project information line at 877-682-9283, ext. 7004, or email CIPinfo@sdcwa.org with your questions.
San Diego Foundation offering $3 million in scholarships
The San Diego Foundation has announced that hundreds of scholarship awards are available for San Diego students pursuing higher education during the 2021-2022 school year.
Through one online application, students can access more than $3 million in available funds for over 140 unique types of scholarships, including those for four-year universities, two-year colleges, graduate and vocational schools. Scholarships are available for graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, graduate, medical and professional school students and adult re-entry students.
The scholarships are made possible through the Community Scholarship Program and Community Scholars Initiative at The San Diego Foundation. Both programs aim to give more San Diego students the tools and financial support to continue their education.
“Investing in our students is one of the best ways to expand economic equity and opportunity within our region,” shared Danielle Valenciano, Director of Community Scholarships at The San Diego Foundation.
According to research from the Public Policy Institute of California, only a fraction of students in California capable of earning a degree actually do, and students from Latinx, Black and low-income communities are historically underrepresented in higher education.
Since 1997, the scholarship program has awarded more than $36 million to thousands of students. The scholarships are made possible through the generosity of more than 100 donors who have opened charitable funds at The San Diego Foundation.
Better Business Bureau seeks nominations for Torch Awards
Businesses in San Diego, and throughout the nation, have been faced with countless challenges this year. Those who have risen above the odds to sustain operations with integrity truly stand out and deserve applause. Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) is seeking nominations for their 2021 Torch Awards for Ethics program which celebrates businesses that positively impact the community, keeping ethics at the forefront.
The Torch Awards for Ethics Program is open to all businesses that operate in the BBB Pacific Southwest region, covering Southern California and Greater Arizona. BBB continues to recognize companies that have proven vital to the San Diego business community, and is excited to announce an annual celebration for the fall of 2021. BBB looks forward to honoring future award recipients in a San Diego location, dependent on public gathering restrictions.
“We value the voice of consumers. The public plays an essential role in identifying potential businesses for this award, as they experience first-hand the true impact of what an ethical company can offer,” shares Shelley Bradley, Director of Signature Events. “We are looking to honor companies who are true leaders, paving the way to promote ethical behavior in their industries and represent the best of the best in character and integrity.”
Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air, a 2020 San Diego award winner, shared that “This has been a difficult year for our country with COVID but it has made us appreciate each other more. The ethics, integrity and pure wholeness of how we work together as a team shows that we care and we are grateful and thankful to be a Torch Awards for Ethics Winner.”
Now is an especially important time to highlight businesses that take strides to strengthen the marketplace. A business may also self-nominate and the award is open to all for-profit businesses. Torch Awards for Ethics nominations are being accepted through Feb. 1, with additional details at torchawards.bbbcommmunity.org.