WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Help support the nations blood supply during National Blood Donor month.

The American Red Cross, America’s Blood Centers and AABB have issued a joint statement encouraging individuals to donate blood and convalescent plasma during the month of January.

The Red Cross stated that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruptions in blood collections and unpredictable changes in supply and demand.

Additionally, convalescent plasma is considered essential from those recovering from COVID-19 as it is being used as a treatment option for those hospitalized and battling the virus. The Red Cross shared that blood collection organizations distributed over 100 thousand units of convalescent plasma in December 2020.

All eligible individuals are encouraged to keep appointments to donate blood, platelets and convalescent plasma to “ensure critical treatment options” for patients in need.

The Red Cross confirmed that all blood collection organizations such as themselves, America’s Blood Centers and AABB follow COVID-19 standards and regulations. Social distancing measures and increased infection control protocols remain in place.

All donors are required to wear face coverings while giving blood, platelets and convalescent plasma.