NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- As the coronavirus spreads and hospitals get busy, the American Red Cross said blood supplies are critically low.

On Thursday, there were plenty of health professionals stepping up to the plate to help.

With their sleeves rolled up, the dedicated donors who were giving blood on Thursday see this as their duty, especially now.

“There’s a critical shortage right now, and on top of everything else the front line physicians are dealing with, the last thing they need to worry about is a shortage of something we have in great supply in our community,” said Dr. Andrea Asnes, of Yale School of Medicine.

The American Red Cross put out a call to arms for potential donors. That’s because it’s down 200,000 units nationwide, including more than 6,000 in Connecticut, and COVID-19 is to blame.

“We’re monitoring temperatures before people come into the blood drive, we’re taking extra precautions with gloves, sanitizing beds, social distancing is my new favorite term,” said Lynn Phillips, of the American Red Cross.

The blood drive held at Yale New Haven Hospital quickly filled up, with hospital staff and members of the Yale community.

The Red Cross stresses it is not a sprint, rather a marathon, but they need healthy people to sign up to donate.

Donors say together they can make a difference.

“I’m so heartened and touched to see so many people here. It mirrors a lot of what I’ve seen in our community, people stepping up, people doing things they’re normally not doing, people calling me to tell me they’ve never given blood and are scared to, but now they want to do it,” Asnes said.

For those who want to help, click here to sign up to give blood.

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