ST. CLOUD -- The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt throughout the community and the American Red Cross is no exception.

Spokeswoman Sue Thesenga says they have a severe blood shortage due to roughly 2,700 blood drive cancellations across the country. These cancellations have resulted in 86,000 fewer blood donations.

Thesenga says to help get donations up, they are adding appointments at donation centers and expanding capacity at many community blood drives over the next few weeks.

She says to ensure the safety of everyone, they are implementing new protocols including spacing beds, checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering the facility, and routinely wiping down donor-touched areas.

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