ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The American Red Cross conveyed its appreciation for and thanks to Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura on July 2, after the sheriff donated convalescent plasma in an effort to help combat COVID-19.
In a statement sent to the sheriff following his donation, the American Red Cross applauded his actions.
“When you signed up to give COVID-19 convalescent plasma, you volunteered to help save a life, Sheriff Fontoura. The American Red Cross thanks you,” the organization wrote. “Donors like you who haven beaten the virus and joined the movement to give COVID-19 convalescent plasma during the most critical times of the pandemic provided hope for patients and their families.”
Fontoura, who contracted the coronavirus in March and has since made a full recovery, expressed his joy at being able to help others in their fight.
“As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, it is important for us to work together to keep everyone healthy,” Fontoura said. “There is an urgent need for this plasma, and as someone who knows how grueling the fight against this virus is, I knew it was my duty to help others in their battle against COVID-19.”
According to the American Red Cross, just one donation of plasma can provide help to up to four people.
“I encourage every resident of Essex County who has beaten this deadly virus to donate their plasma so that they can give others that same opportunity,” Fontoura said.
Additionally, the sheriff urged members of the Essex County community to donate blood, regardless of whether or not they have contracted the coronavirus.
“Now more than ever, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations. Recently, there has been a 30-percent increase in demand for blood as hospitals resume normal procedures,” Fontoura said. “Volunteer donors are the only source of blood for patients in need. Blood drives are available in and around the Essex County area, and I strongly advocate for members of our community to log on to the American Red Cross website to find where they can donate.”