Some 80% of blood donations usually come through group blood drives at offices, churches and other gathering places. With people in Oregon and Washington being told to stay home, that’s created both challenges and a strong response.

James Kershaw donates blood at a temporary blood bank set up in a church's fellowship hall Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. Schools and businesses that typically host blood drives are temporarily closed due to precautionary measures in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus leading to extremely low levels of blood availability throughout the state.

James Kershaw donates blood at a temporary blood bank set up in a church’s fellowship hall Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. Schools and businesses that typically host blood drives are temporarily closed due to precautionary measures in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus leading to extremely low levels of blood availability throughout the state.

Matt York/AP

Red Cross spokeswoman Christine Welch said people want to help their neighbors.

“We’ve had a great response from the community — and thank you to all of those who have responded by going out to the remaining donation sites,” she said.

In some parts of the Red Cross’s Oregon and Southwest Washington region, all available appointments are booked for at least the next week.

But with so many blood drives canceled, the Red Cross is still concerned about its supply. 

“As we add more appointment slots and blood drive opportunities in the coming weeks, we ask that the public still make an effort to schedule an appointment,” Welch said.

The nonprofit has made changes to blood donation procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Donors can expect to have their temperature taken when they arrive now, and will be asked to use hand sanitizer. Beds are spaced at least 6-feet apart, when possible.

And walk-ins are discouraged. That keeps crowds from building up.

The Red Cross is actively working to add more donation opportunities, so check back if all appointment slots seem full at first, Welch said. Appointments can be made by visiting redcrossblood.org, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.