By Tess Sheets and Selene San Felice
Fifty people are dead and at least 53 are wounded from the shooting at the gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando on Saturday night. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and the worst terror attack since Sept. 11, 2001. In light of the attack, OneBlood issued a press release this morning addressing an urgent need for donations. They pushed their message out on social media, asking for O positive, O negative and AB plasma donors.
Now the blood center says they are at full capacity, but urges donors to make appointments over the next couple of days.
Rumors had been circulating that the FDA’s deferral recommendation for men who have had sex with other men in the past 12 months has been lifted. In a later press release, OneBlood addressed that these statements are false.
“There are false reports circulating that some FDA rules were being lifted regarding blood donation and this is simply not true. The blood center is mandated to follow all guidelines for blood donation at all times,” the press release stated.
The FDA’s donor deferral recommendations are in place to reduce the risk of spreading diseases transmissible by blood transfusion; however, each unit of blood undergoes a series of tests after donation regardless of the donor’s sexual identity.
To see a list of the FDA’s blood donor guidelines visit fda.gov
To make an appointment or find a donation center near you, call 888-936-6283 or visit oneblooddonor.org
Multiple vigils are taking place throughout the Tampa area tonight to honor those who fell victim to the Orlando attack.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the victims and families of those who have been affected by the attack.
See below for a list of blood donation centers and vigils scheduled throughout the area.
Hillsborough County Donor Centers
Plant City Donor Center
2909 James L. Redman Pkwy, Suite 6
Plant City, FL 33566
Phone: (813) 752-7638
Fax: (813) 752-6804
Brandon Donor Center
727 West Lumsden Rd, Suite A
Brandon, FL 33511
Phone: (813) 661-4528
Fax: (813) 651-1069
Tampa – Fletcher Donor Center
5301 E Fletcher Ave.
Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 903-2600
Fax: (813) 903-2601
Tampa – Dale Mabry Donor Center
15427 N Dale Mabry Hwy
Tampa, FL 33618
Phone: (813) 964-1354
Fax: (813) 964-1370
Tampa – Kennedy Donor Center
4041 W Kennedy Blvd
Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: (813) 282-3976
Fax: (813) 282-3967
Tampa Bay Area Vigils
- Tampa: Curtis Hixon Park location changed to Ybor Metro Wellness & Community Center, Ybor. 1315 E 7th Ave, Tampa: 7-10 p.m. Bring candles, flashlights and lighters. Meeting at the park at 7 p.m. Group will march silently down River Walk. Bring walking shoes and water.
- Inverness: 5-6:30 pm. Wallace Brooks Park, 328 E Dampier St., Inverness, Florida. Meet under the pavilions next to the 9/11 memorial. Family is welcome, and candles will be provided.
- St. Pete (Grand Central District): A group of local gay bars and restaurants are holding vigils at 7 p.m. tonight. They are on the Grand Central District, 28th and Court Avenue in St. Pete.
- St. Pete (City Hall): 8 p.m. at St. Pete City Hall steps. Address: 175 5th St. North.
- St. Pete: 95.1 JAMS VIGIL; 9 p.m. – midnight. Location: 3621 Central Avenue.
- Gulfport: Gulfport Candlelight Vigil at the Gulfport Library at 8 p.m., south end of library by the flag poles.
List courtesy of Bay News 9
UPDATE: Another vigil will be held Monday, June 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the parking lot across from Southern Nights TAMPA (1430 E. 7th Ave.) Candles will be provided by the GaYbor Coalition. More information Here.