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Officials say Red Cross is experiencing severe blood shortages due to coronavirus, decrease in donors

COURTESY PHOTO - Brendon Stewart prepares to draw blood from John Parker with Mick Wilson in the background. Milwaukie American Legion Post 180 usually holds a couple American Red Cross Blood drives each year, but this time it thought outside the box, notifying all the churches in the area.

By the end of the day Wednesday,a May 13, the Red Cross had collected 45 units of blood at Post 180.

"As our nation faces the coronavirus emergency, the Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage," said American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford, who to date, has donated more than 8 gallons. "The coronavirus pandemic could affect millions of Americans, meaning fewer people are eligible to donate. At the same time, the Red Cross is noticing an uptick in the number of cancelations of blood drives. There is an urgent need for blood now."COURTESY PHOTO - Tables are spaced apart for social distancing as people donate blood at the American Legion post in Milwaukie.

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