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Red Cross Faces 'Severe' Blood Shortages, Hosts Local Drives

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The American Red Cross says it’s facing severe blood shortages because of blood drive cancellations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Even with a statewide stay-at-home order, people are still allowed to donate blood at one of the many drives across Oregon and California.

The Red Cross is hosting several blood drives locally, including one at the Elks Lodge in Ashland on Wednesday, then another in Medford on Thursday and Friday.

On its website, the Red Cross assures potential blood donors that there isn’t any evidence of someone contracting the coronavirus through blood transmissions. It also says its volunteers take all the necessary precautions to ensure its facilities are clean and sterile.

Still, it asks people to wait a month if they have traveled to a high-risk country, or been in contact with someone who has had the coronavirus.

April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.