According to Stanford Medicine, blood donations are desperately needed and potential donors are not subject to shelter-in-place rules, which provides exemptions to "essential health services." As long as you are healthy, have not traveled to high-risk countries and have not been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you are good to go.
So, where can you go to give blood near you?
Here is a list of some resources available to U.S. residents that are interested in donating blood in some of the hardest hit cities:
New York City
Do NYC has a full list of donation centers in NYC, which includes locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
It is also helpful to know your blood type before donating (but not required).
Hospitals might be busier than usual dealing with the coronavirus, so it is important to call ahead and try to schedule an appointment. If you are in the LA area, you can donate blood at the American Red Cross in Downtown LA or the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center.
Through March 18, nearly 4,500 blood drives have been canceled due to #coronavirus concerns, resulting in over 150,000 fewer blood donations. Yesterday, the @Surgeon_General stressed the importance of giving blood. Make an appointment here: https://t.co/3h0WKPf8FC pic.twitter.com/7YEHGLT4ft— American Red Cross (@RedCross) March 19, 2020
Washington state has been the hardest hit, with over 2,000 cases of COVID-19 so far. BloodWorks Northwest has a bunch of donor locations in the region, including Seattle.
The Seattle Seahawks also recently did a blood drive in the city, so it's important to check the news for more opportunities to help.
If you are in the South Florida area, we recommend reaching out to OneBlood — you might have seen their big red bus on more than one occasion. Just put in your zip code, and you will be directed to the donation location closest to you.
If you are based in the Windy City, your best option is Vitalant, which is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. They currently have three locations in Chicago, and 20 total across the state.
For Boston locals, there are plenty of options. From the American Red Cross — they are currently experiencing a "severe blood shortage" — to the Blood Donor Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, medical professionals are there to take your donation of blood and platelets.
Just remember to call before going into the hospital.
The Boston Children's Hospital donor room. Boston Children's Hospital Blood Donor Center/Bloodmobile's make an appointment at https://t.co/o0HwzyPhdF or (617)355-6677 , Thank you so much for trying to donate. Additional Info below. Please reach out with any questions :) pic.twitter.com/uXBtLHSZVA— Friendly neighborhood blood banker 👩🏾🔬 (@SephlyatPAX) March 20, 2020
Just remember to stay safe and follow all recommendations by the CDC when leaving your home.
The best way to prevent contracting or spreading the coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.