In conjunction with the American Red Cross and the Centre on Main, Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center will host a blood drive on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Centre on Main.

Blood donations are urgently needed as corporate blood drives have been cancelled around the country. Even though community members are being urged to stay home, there will continue to be those who need emergency services that require blood transfusions.

Blood centers around the country are warning of devastating shortages in all blood types if the cancellations of donations continue. If people do not donate now, there will be a larger problem in the near future, hospital officials say.

"We want people to know that it is very safe to donate blood," officials said in a TLRMC press release.

Every potential donor is given a mini-physical exam when they first arrive, and a medical history is taken. Social distancing and screenings for coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms are also being done to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for donors.

“While it may seem as if the world has stopped — and indeed, in certain sectors, it has — we as a community cannot forget about our patients in critical need,” said TLRMC CEO Wayne Meriwether.

People who have not traveled out of the country or been in direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 are likely eligible to donate blood.