Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D – San Diego) is calling on all healthy and eligible Californians to donate blood to help offset the severe supply shortage occurring due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Sen. Atkins donated blood March 23 at the San Diego Blood Bank.

“One thing is undeniably certain in these very uncertain times – blood donations save lives, and are critically important right now given COVID-19,” Atkins said. “Many of us want some way to be able to help during times of crisis, and one of the best ways we can support each other and our community is to support our local blood banks and bolster the supply for those in need. I urge all Californians who can to please donate blood. You will make a difference in someone’s life.”

The American Red Cross, along with blood banks throughout California, report that there is a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during the Coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are asked to donate now to patients needing blood, platelets, or AB Elite plasma.

Donating blood is recognized as an ‘essential’ activity and Californians can still go donate blood, despite Governor Gavin Newsom’s ‘stay-in-place’ order. In order to ensure proper staffing at locations, appointments for blood donation are required.

Blood banks are advising donors that they have enacted additional safety measures to the safety of donors and staff, who also are being screened for temperature and upper-respiratory symptoms.

“We will need continued donations over the coming weeks to ensure a safe and steady supply for our region,” said David Wellis, CEO, San Diego Blood Bank. “People 65 and older and those with underlying conditions need not feel any pressure to donate. A new generation is filling in the gap in this moment in time.”

To learn more or schedule an appointment to donate visit https://www.redcrossblood.org.