Resolution urges FDA to reconsider requirements for blood donation


Bennett Johnson donates blood on the ARUP blood drive held on the Senate constructing on the state Captiol on Monday. (Paul Nelson, KSL NewsRadio)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A joint decision on the Utah Legislature urges the federal Meals and Drug Administration to alter “outdated and discriminatory protocols” for blood donation concerning homosexual and bisexual males.

SJR11 was launched Monday by state Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake Metropolis, and was highlighted by the senator throughout a blood drive held on the Capitol for “all blood donors.” The drive was organized by Kitchen to assist handle ongoing nationwide blood shortages.

In January, the American Crimson Cross declared the first-ever blood disaster and urged all People to donate to assist improve provide to fight the “worst blood provide scarcity in over a decade.”

However some People who’re keen to reply the decision and roll up their sleeves might face obstacles in doing so. Zachary Marks expressed frustration on the obstacles he confronted in his need to assist.

“It is simply actually discouraging when it is one thing that I need to do. My physique makes blood, wholesome blood, and I would like to have the ability to give it to different individuals. And I am unable to simply due to like one particular label,” Marks mentioned Monday.

“The wholesome habits that individuals can have do not matter when it is, like, you mark a field that you just’re homosexual, after which hastily it is such as you can’t donate in any respect,” he added.

The FDA’s present blood donation tips require homosexual or bisexual males to abstain from sexual exercise for 3 months previous to donating blood.

“We want blood, and homosexual males need to take part,” Kitchen mentioned. “Homosexual males need to be part of the answer, and there is a variety of homosexual individuals within the state of Utah that need to assist us with our blood scarcity. So, I feel it is time for us to raise that ban.”

The ban on homosexual and bisexual males donating blood was imposed in 1983 by the company throughout the early years of the HIV epidemic. The ban was lifted in 2015 and amended to permit donations after abstaining from sexual exercise for a 12 months — which was later adjusted in 2020 to the present three-month interval amid rising stress and a nationwide scarcity of blood donations.

“On the FDA, we need to do all the pieces we will to encourage extra blood donations, which incorporates revisiting and updating a few of our current insurance policies to assist guarantee we’ve an enough blood provide whereas nonetheless defending the protection of our nation’s blood provide,” Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Middle for Biologics Analysis and Analysis, wrote of the change.

The administration acknowledged that the amended coverage would stay in place after the COVID-19 pandemic, however advocates are calling for an entire change. The American Medical American Affiliation argued that the coverage “singles out and bans blood donors based mostly on their inherent attributes relatively than the chance components they current.”

The affiliation added that every one blood is examined and donors may be screened. Others argue that the screening course of might not flag all contaminated individuals. Blood assessments can stay detrimental for a interval of seven to 10 days after somebody has been contaminated, in response to the American Crimson Cross.

The coverage is a “holdover from the AIDS disaster” and creates a stigma for homosexual and bisexual males, Kitchen mentioned, including that individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, can contract the virus.

The decision goals to acknowledge “that outdated and discriminatory protocols of the previous are contributing to the present disaster within the nation’s blood provide and urges the federal authorities to pursue with renewed vigor substitute of the specific, time-based exclusion of homosexual and bisexual males as blood.”

If handed, the decision presents a chance for Utah to steer out on the difficulty.

“Utah is a very distinctive place as a result of we have, you recognize, we have overcome a variety of obstacles with regard to our non secular neighborhood and our LGBTQ neighborhood, and we have come a good distance,” Kitchen mentioned.

“It is our job as state lawmakers and legislators to concentrate on good well being coverage. And on the finish of the day, this decision helps scale back the stigma that homosexual males carry in the case of their participation in well being care,” he mentioned. “We now have a variety of training and a protracted highway to go, however with this decision we’ve a chance to start to cut back that stigma which simply merely is not true.”

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Some businesses keep their own mask requirements even without mandates : Shots


Come Tuesday, Connecticut’s masks mandate ends, although not inside the 4 partitions of Staci Glazier’s hair salon.

Salon proprietor Staci Glazier restructured her enterprise in the course of the pandemic, working alone and scheduling a single consumer at a time to cut back threat to herself and her clientele.

Staci B. Glazier


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Staci B. Glazier


Salon proprietor Staci Glazier restructured her enterprise in the course of the pandemic, working alone and scheduling a single consumer at a time to cut back threat to herself and her clientele.

Staci B. Glazier

“As a result of I am a non-public enterprise, it is my guidelines,” says Glazier who will proceed requiring shoppers to masks up. “It would not matter what the city or the state does; it is my guidelines.”

Glazier left her former salon and opened her one-woman store, Glaze, in Hamden in the course of the pandemic. She figured it was safer as a result of she may restrict publicity for herself and her shoppers. Plus, she was uninterested in lacking out on work and cash, each time one other stylist received uncovered.

“I do not need to have to shut my enterprise once more, and I don’t imagine we’re out of the woods,” she says. Most shoppers perceive; she’s parted methods with those that do not.

The CDC relaxed its masks steering Friday, advising that just about 70% of People dwell in a spot the place it is OK to skip face coverings. A lot of the nation had already moved on from masks mandates. As of March 1st, indoor masks mandates will stay in solely three states — Washington, Oregon and Hawaii. (Oregon’s masks mandate will finish March 19; Washington’s will finish March 21, based on statements from these states’ governors.)

Current polls present the nation near evenly cut up over masks mandates — largely alongside celebration strains. So in impact, many eating places and corner-stores are navigating their masking insurance policies primarily based on private selection or threat tolerance.

For the general public, which means encountering a possible patchwork of masking, on the job and in every day life.

“That is one thing that comes up in nearly each dialog I’ve with my sufferers,” says internist Vivek Cherian, who treats hospitalized sufferers in Chicago. As a result of they’re sick and susceptible to COVID-19, he says many fear concerning the finish of Illinois’s masks mandate this month.

“They’re simply sort of uncomfortable the place we’re proper now on this pandemic,” Cherian says. “Though issues are trying a lot, a lot better,…they’re additionally seeing 2,000 individuals are nonetheless dying day-after-day.”

How a lot threat will increase on account of unmasking is a tricky query to reply, as a result of it depends upon many variables, says Abraar Karan, an infectious illness physician at Stanford College. “It isn’t a binary of whether or not they work or not or do not work — sure masks work a lot better than others,” Karan says, so he nonetheless recommends upgrading to N95 masks when in shut quarters with others.

The effectiveness typically relies upon additionally on issues like air flow, humidity and, after all, how nicely the masks is worn, Karan says.

It is exactly as a result of they’re worn so occasionally in bars and eating places that Invoice Duggan by no means noticed a degree to requiring them there within the first place.

“It is develop into sort of a joke,” says Duggan, proprietor of the landmark Washington D.C. blues bar Madam’s Organ, “as a result of individuals need to put on a masks to stroll via the door, however as quickly as they’ve a drink or consuming something, then they do not put on it.”

The mandate was to masks except “actively consuming or consuming,” which Duggan argues was open to an excessive amount of interpretation.

Duggan is completely happy to see D.C.’s indoor masks mandate expire Feb. 28, as a result of he says they have been ineffective as a public well being instrument, and unimaginable to implement.
As a substitute, he argues, the town ought to’ve centered on mandating vaccines for indoor diners; Madam’s Organ nonetheless checks vaccination playing cards on the door, regardless that the town not requires it.

Duggan says that is the place the battle must be fought: “Certainly one of my closest associates, in addition to a musician who’s been with me for 28 years … he died on November 4th.”

The buddy did not need to get vaccinated. Duggan would not let him carry out at Madam’s Organ because of this. “Honestly, it received me pissed off in addition to heartbroken,” he says.

A person wears his masks as he walks previous an indication posted on a storefront reminding individuals to put on masks, on February 25, 2022 in Los Angeles. Los Angeles ends its indoor masks mandate on February 25 for absolutely vaccinated individuals with proof of vaccination. Masks are nonetheless required for unvaccinated individuals or those that can’t present proof of a unfavorable take a look at.

rederic J. Brown/AFP by way of Getty Pictures


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rederic J. Brown/AFP by way of Getty Pictures


A person wears his masks as he walks previous an indication posted on a storefront reminding individuals to put on masks, on February 25, 2022 in Los Angeles. Los Angeles ends its indoor masks mandate on February 25 for absolutely vaccinated individuals with proof of vaccination. Masks are nonetheless required for unvaccinated individuals or those that can’t present proof of a unfavorable take a look at.

rederic J. Brown/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

In the meantime, throughout a lot of the nation, masks mandates are a factor of the previous, or by no means existed.

Missouri by no means had a masks mandate; the mandate in Kansas Metropolis, the place The Campground restaurant is, expired earlier this month.

“We have been sort of in no man’s land attempting to determine it out ourselves,” says Christopher Ciesiel, co-owner of The Campground.

Ciesiel nonetheless requires proof of vaccination and strongly suggest masks for indoor seating — partially as a result of he is a former nurse, and since his daughter was too younger to vaccinate. He received some pushback, however on stability he says these insurance policies have helped enterprise.

“I really feel like now we have sort of whittled away all of the company that might have been issues for us, anyhow, so now it nearly looks like our clientele is coming to us as a result of we’re doing this,” he says of the masks suggestions and vaccine necessities.

Just lately, for instance, a buyer with terminal most cancers visited the restaurant along with her household, leaving dwelling for the primary time in two years. “They got here right here as a result of they felt protected,” he says.

It is also helped enterprise, Ciesiel says, as a result of — not like neighboring shops — he and his employees have not closed, as a result of they have not gotten sick.