The American Red Cross is STILL in need of blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as area hospitals need to resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic as demand for plasma has grown by 30% after seeing a sharp decline last month. Area blood drives have been halted as businesses and community organizations remain closed but you are still able to roll up your sleeve.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well can make an appointment by downloading the FREE Red Cross Blood Donor app or log on to their web site by going here or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. If you give "the gift of life" by Sunday, May 31st, you will receive an official Red Cross T-Shirt by mail, while supplies last and if you donate during the month of June, a $5 Amazon.com gift card will be sent to your e mail address.

Red Cross Senior Vice-President Paul Sullivan emphasized that all blood donations play a vital role in the lives of patients who have needed life-saving transfusions during this pandemic and continue to depend on donors who can fill the need as the public can band together to avoid a future blood shortage this summer as red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days of donation and 5 days for platelets to replenish.

All blood drives and donation centers follow the highest standards of safety and infection control which include temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff to ensure the health of all those in attendance in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance. Donors need to bring their blood donor card and two other forms of identification prior to check-in.

You need to be at least 17 years of age, weigh 110 pounds to donate blood. High school students also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. You can also save time by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire on line on the scheduled day of your donation. For more detailed information, follow this link by going here or you can download the FREE Blood Donor app as the Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the public's generosity to perform it's daily mission. You can also check out their latest posts via their Twitter account.

(The following information was obtained by WSBS via a press release courtesy of The American Red Cross for on-air and on-line usage)