The New England Patriots will host a series of blood drives at Gillette Stadium to assist in COVID-19 relief efforts, the team announced Tuesday.
Nine drives have been scheduled, with the first set to take place April 13. The Patriots have partnered with Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham & Women?s Hospital have partnered to carry out the initiative.
“Due to the coronavirus outbreak, hospitals across the globe have seen a severe shortage in blood donations,” a team release read. “Donating blood has been deemed an essential service by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is still safe to donate blood during this pandemic and eligible and healthy donors are strongly encouraged to make a donation. The CDC is supporting this effort by providing recommendations that will keep donors and staff safe.”
Those wishing to donate blood must register for an appointment beforehand on Gillette Stadium’s website.
Last week, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft used the team’s plane to transport more than 1 million N95 masks from China to Boston, helping address the shortage of personal protective equipment that’s affected many healthcare workers who are treating coronavirus patients. The Kraft family donated 300,000 of these masks to New York, the current epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States.
Massachusetts health officials also constructed a temporary COVID-19 testing site for first responders in one of the Gillette Stadium parking lots.
The stadium currently is unoccupied, with the NFL mandating the closure of all team facilities until further notice to restrict the spread of the virus.