FARMINGTON, Conn. - The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the weeks and months ahead by downloading the free 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.

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.

Upcoming local blood drives

Aug. 4

Groton Lodge of Elks, 700 Shennecossett Rd. in Groton, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Aug. 6

Mystic Hilton, 20 Coogan Blvd. in Mystic, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Our Lady of Lourdes, 1650 Route 12 in Gales Ferry, noon to 6 p.m.

Aug. 7

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

East Lyme Community, 39 Society Rd. in Niantic, noon to 6 p.m.

Aug. 12

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

Aug. 20

Groton City Municipal Building, 295 Meridian Street Extension, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Aug. 25

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

Aug. 28

Niantic Community Church, 170 Pennsylvania Ave. in Niantic, 12:45 to 6 p.m.

Connecticut Media Group