Celeste Lindell / Flickr

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is calling on the public, especially people with O Negative blood, to donate.

According to the CBCO, high usage rates at area hospitals, along with a less than normal donor turnout at recent drives have reduced reserve levels.

“A strong donor response is called for in the coming days to help ensure that area patient blood needs continue to be met,” a CBCO press release stated.

Presidio of Monterey / Flickr

A Code Red emergency appeal for blood has been issued by the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks.  CBCO spokesman Chris Pilgrim says local blood needs are at their highest level since 2015.

The appeal came as many schools were closed Monday due to the ice that coated the Ozarks over the weekend.  Blood drives that had been scheduled Monday at Kickapoo and Republic High Schools were supposed to help rebuild the already critically low blood supply, according to Pilgrim.

Denise Krebs / Flickr

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is urging donors to give blood today after two blood drives were cancelled due to weather.

According to the blood bank, supply levels of A and O blood were already low due to the recent holiday weekends.  CBCO remains on a Code Yellow Alert for all A and O blood types--that there’s less than a two-day supply of those types in reserve for patients at 40 area hospitals.

Alex Juel / Flickr

Blood given at the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is now being tested for the Zika virus.  All blood collection organizations in the U.S. are now required to test for the disease, which causes birth defects in pregnant women.

Blood donation
Bryan Jones / Flickr

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is warning of an unprecedented low level of blood for this time of year, in part because of deferrals for donors who have traveled abroad. 

The organization is calling for people of all blood types to donate as many reserves are at less than a one-day supply.

In a news release, CBCO says the decrease in actual donations comes despite a strong donor response.