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Red Cross calls for help with blood supply during COVID-19 crisis

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INDIANA (WPTA21) - The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage after a number of blood drives had to be canceled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Nearly 3,000 blood drives had to be canceled across the country this month due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in at least 86,000 fewer blood donations.

As more states issue stay-at-home orders, the Red Cross expects more cancellations.

More than ever, the Red Cross is asking for Hoosiers to help out by making an appointment to donate.

Those wondering whether driving to and from a donation site can rest assured is allowed during the stay-at-home order can rest assured this activity is considered essential travel.

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are asked to donate if they are able.

Earlier this month, the CDC encouraged people who are well to continue to donate blood while practicing social distancing.

These donations help save the lives of cancer patients and accident victims.

The Red Cross said they have put in place extra safety precautions to help keep staff and donors safe during the donation process.

From now on, staff are checking the temperature of other staff members and donors before they enter the drive to make sure they are healthy.

They're also providing hand sanitizer for use before and during the blood donation process.

Staff will space the beds, when possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donations, as well as enhanced disinfecting on surfaces and equipment.

You can make an appointment now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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