Facing a critical shortage of donated blood at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood and UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, healthy people are urged to give blood.

Even though Los Angeles has issued a safer at home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, giving blood is permitted.

“Blood donation is considered an essential service that is exempt from the safer at home directive,” said Dr. Dawn Ward, medical director for the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center. “Cancer patients, trauma patients, mothers delivering babies, babies born in critical condition, and patients undergoing surgeries still frequently require blood transfusions.”

To ensure the safety of donors, Ward said that the center is “following every precaution recommended by the American Association of Blood Banks.” To further promote the safety of staff and donors, UCLA Health encourages donors to schedule appointments online ahead of time. This will allow the blood center to stagger appointments and allow six feet of space between all donors and staff in the lobby and collection room.

You can schedule your appointment on the UCLA Health website, where you will also find additional information on eligibility and safety measures. Blood donors receive a movie ticket as part of their donation, and eligible UCLA employees can receive time off.