FARMINGTON, Conn. – The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As the coronavirus pandemic has grown here in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. To date, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools amidst the coronavirus outbreak. These cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. More than 80 percent of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives held at locations of this type.

Here in the Connecticut Region, 46 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in 1,299 fewer blood donations. The Red Cross is adding appointment slots at donation centers and expanding capacity at many community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to ensure ample opportunities for donors to give.

Please make an appointment to donate blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Blood donors with type O blood and platelet donors are especially needed right now.

Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus, including this coronavirus, from a transfusion.

The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation – and who meet other eligibility requirements, available at RedCrossBlood.org. At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub. These mitigation measures will help ensure blood recipient safety, as well as staff and donor safety in reducing contact with those who may potentially have this respiratory infection.

May 11

Christ Lutheran Church, 24 Society Rd. in Niantic, 12:45 to 6 p.m.

May 13

Gallup Hill Baptist Church, 79 Gallup Hill Rd. in Ledyard, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Montville Youth Services, 836 Old Colchester Rd. in Oakdale, noon to 5 p.m.

May 14

Hilton Garden Inn, 224 Gold Star Highway in Groton, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

May 15

Our Lady of the Lakes Church, 752 Norwich-Salem Tnpk. In Oakdale, 1 to 6 p.m.

May 26

Groton Lodge of Elks, 700 Shennecossett Rd. in Groton, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Hugo A. Simonelli VFW Post 3263, 60 Stonington Rd. in Mystic, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

June 3

Hugo A. Simonelli VFW Post 3263, 60 Stonington Rd. in Mystic, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

June 4

Hoxie Firehouse, 34 Broadway Ave. in Mystic, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

June 5

Waterford Town Hall, 15 Rope Ferry Rd. in Waterford, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

June 9

St. David’s Episcopal Church, 284 Stoddard Wharf Rd. in Gales Ferry, 1 to 6 p.m.

June 17

Groton Town Police, 68 Groton Long Point Rd. in Groton, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

June 18

Hilton Garden Inn, 224 Gold Star Highway in Groton, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

June 23

Hugo A. Simonelli VFW Post 3263, 60 Stonington Rd. in Mystic, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

Connecticut Media Group