MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Mall of America is closed as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) rises in Minnesota. Now the massive shopping center will instead host several American Red Cross blood drives.

In an announcement, the Red Cross says the coronavirus outbreak has caused the cancellations of thousands of blood drives across the country. MOA is an ideal location for a blood drive because it is open and spacious enough to allow for the social distancing of staff, donors and volunteers.

Four blood drives are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 7, 8, 17 and 18. They’ll take place in MOA’s north atrium, which is accessible via the north parking lot that is closest to IKEA.

RELATED: WCCO’s COVID-19 Community Resource Page

All blood types are needed.

A blood donor card, driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. To be eligible to donate, donors must be 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.

If you are interested in donating blood, you’re asked to make an appointment by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor mobile application, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Use sponsor code “MOA” when claiming your spot.

Management says the blood drives will follow the highest standards of safety and infection control; by checking temperatures before entry, providing hand sanitizer, social distancing, routinely disinfecting surfaces, wearing gloves, and using sterile collection sets and an aseptic scrub for every donation.

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