ST. CLOUD -- A plea for blood donations has helped restock the shelves in Minnesota, but officials with the American Red Cross are still asking eligible donors to make future appointments to keep the supplies going.

Red Cross spokeswoman Sue Thesenga says they understand people may have fears about donating blood during this time. However, she says they have added additional safety measures at their donation sites.

Red Cross staff are taking the temperature of donors at the door to make sure they are healthy on the day they donate.

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Thesenga says they also have hand sanitizer for donors, are disinfecting surfaces and equipment regularly, are practicing social distancing and staff are wearing masks and gloves.

A donor can give blood every 56 days.  That allows the body to replenish the red blood cells lost during the donation.

The shelf life for a unit of blood is 42 days.