The American Red Cross Minnesota says the nation is facing a "severe blood shortage" due to a vast number of blood drive cancellations because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the American Red Cross, as of March 18, nearly 4,500 blood drives have been cancelled nationwide, including 117 in the Minnesota and Dakotas region.
The cancelled blood drives have resulted in more than 3,800 fewer donations in the Minnesota and Dakotas region, and more than 150,000 fewer donations nationally.
The Red Cross is asking for healthy and eligible individuals to donate to continue to help people in need. Donor centers are still open and added precautions have been put in place to ensure the safety of donors and staff.
Appointments can be scheduled at redcross.org.
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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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