Gov. Pete Ricketts is calling on Nebraskans to donate blood amid a shortage related to the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.

A portion of the text of the governor’s news release follows:

LINCOLN — The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage as many blood drives are being cancelled across the country due to coronavirus concerns.

“The American Red Cross has been there for Nebraskans in our times of greatest need. Now, I urge healthy Nebraskans to help the Red Cross and their neighbors by setting an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible,” Gov. Ricketts said.

Through March 17, nearly 4,000 Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in more than 100,000 fewer blood donations. Some of these cancellations have occurred in Nebraska.

Eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment at https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html to provide lifesaving blood products to patients.

Organizations can safely host blood drives while adhering to social distancing measures. By continuing to donate, Nebraskans can ensure an available blood supply for patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.

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