With all the new COVID-19 rules, Red Cross blood drives are only taking donors by appointment. Walk-ins are not allowed for the time being.

That can be a problem in times like now, when COVID-19 has also been responsible for the Red Cross canceling blood drives across the nation. As a result, there’s a nationwide shortage of blood needed for accident and surgery victims this summer.

In April, the Redwood Falls blood drive had a waiting list of people who wanted to give, but couldn’t get an appointment. At the same time, that blood drive had a record number of no shows so those appointments went unfilled.

Heather Smith, organizer of the Redwood Falls blood drives, says the Bloodmobile visit set for next Monday and Tuesday still has appointment times available. That’s for both whole blood donations, and double-reds.

Smith stated no adjustments can be made to the schedule after 10 a.m. on the day of the drive, so please let organizers know as soon as possible if you are unable to make your appointment. If you know before the drive that you won’t make your appointment, please let Smith know by calling 507-430-4695 so they can schedule someone else into your slot.

Everyone must wear a mask and will have their temperature taken at the door.  (a mask will be provided if you do not have one)

As a bonus this year, to encourage people to make appointments, anyone who donates next week will be given an antibody test for COVID-19. It’s a simple, easy way to see if you have been exposed and developed antibodies to fight the virus.

To make an appointment for the July 6-7 Redwood Falls Red Cross blood drive, call Heather Smith at 507-430-4695, or  Barb at 507-370-2357.