MINNEAPOLIS — The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage and must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month for the blood supply to recover and meet hospital and patient needs. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to give now and in the weeks ahead to overcome this current shortage.

Blood donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year as many delayed giving amid a return to the workplace and in-person learning, as well as a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country. As cases spiked in August, blood donor participation decreased about 10%, but blood product distributions to hospitals have remained strong, significantly outpacing blood donations in recent weeks.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in this area:

Jasper: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 5, Evangelical Lutheran Church, 101 Spicer St.

Chandler: 1 to 7 p.m. Oct. 5, Community Center, 300 Carlton Ave.

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Windom: 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13, Community Center, 1750 Cottonwood Lake Dr.

Slayton: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 14, The Plaid Moose, 2630 Broadway Ave.

Worthington: 1 to 7 p.m. Oct. 14, Worthington Christian Church, 1501 N. Douglas Ave.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification at check-in. Individuals who are age 17 or older (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Make an appointment to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).