There’s an emergency shortage of blood, according to Vitalant in Redding, who says the blood supply for 900 hospitals nationwide has sunk to its lowest level in a year. Changes in the way people live their lives since the start of the pandemic has made blood drives very challenging. In particular, business-hosted blood drives are down 50% from 2019, representing a loss of 90,000 pints of blood. Adding to the difficulty recently are factors including foul weather and outbreaks of flu and cold. All types are needed, especially the “O” types, which are the most versatile. Platelets to help cancer patients are also desperately needed. Anyone who donates blood through January 20th will be entered into a contest to win tickets, travel and more in the Big Trip To The Big Game giveaway. An appointment can be made at vitalant.org or by calling 877-25-VITAL.