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Blood donations urgently needed

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 spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a release stated.

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, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

In recent weeks, hospital demand for blood products has grown by 30 percent after sharply declining in early April as a result of the pandemic, Red Cross said. At the same time, blood drives continue to be canceled as many businesses and community organizations remain closed.

Safety precautions

In addition to normal safety procedures, additional precautions—including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff—have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance, in the wake of COVID-19. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment and to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

Upcoming blood collections in Gloucester include:
—10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Bethany United Methodist Church, 1860 Hayes Road, Gloucester Point;
—1-7 p.m. Friday, June 12, Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church, 3900 George Washington Memorial Highway, Hayes;
—9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 13, Gloucester Church of Christ, 2432 Hayes Road, Hayes, and
—Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, the First United Baptist Church, 6188 George Washington Memorial Highway, Gloucester.