The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 21 at the Grand River YMCA, in the north gym.

The need for blood donations never stops. However, stay-at-home orders issued in states across the nation, and locally before that, have led to nearly 20,000 blood drives canceled nationally and 1,120 regionally. While maintaining social distancing requirements blood drives are continuing in some areas, to help keep a supply of blood products available.

In an effort to maintain a supply of blood, the American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 21 at the Grand River YMCA, in the north gym.

“The need for blood remains constant. A number of partners have had to cancel blood drives. Nationally, nearly 20,000 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in fewer than 554,625 blood donations. Regionally, 1,120 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in fewer than 29,746 blood donations,” Evan Woods, a representative from the American Red Cross said. “But the response from the public and a number of partners willing to open their doors, the Red Cross has been able to maintain a healthy blood supply for hospitals. We are encouraging people to donate blood as this situation changes from week to week. With the public willing to roll up a sleeve and donate, the Red Cross has been able to continue our life-saving mission during this critical time.”

Woods stressed that there are numerous precautions being taken to ensure donors and staff are healthy, and to maintain social distancing.

“The Red Cross has taken many steps to ensure that blood drives are safe for staff, volunteers, and all donors. Healthy individuals are encouraged to donate blood. We are screening everyone before they enter the blood drive, maintaining social distancing at blood drives, and requiring everyone to wear a face mask,” he said.

Donors are being asked to schedule their appointment ahead of time; no walk-in appointments are being accepted at this time. Donors are asked to bring a face mask of their own, however, if they do not have one, one will be provided.

Woods said all presenting donors will receive a gift card to Hy-Vee; the cards were donated by Trenton resident Larry Bailey.

To make an appointment go to www.redcrossblood.org and type in “GrandRiverYMCA” to find this blood drive.

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