Sen. Toni Atkins donates blood
Sen. Toni Atkins donates at the San Diego Blood Bank on Monday. Photo courtesy of her office

State Senate President Toni Atkins donated blood Monday and called on healthy San Diegans to help offset the severe supply shortage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“One thing is undeniably certain in these very uncertain times — blood donations save lives, and are critically important right now given COVID-19,” said Atkins after her visit to the San Diego Blood Bank.

“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,” she said, urging San Diegans to make an appointment to donate.

The blood bank, which supplies about 40 hospitals in San Diego and Southern California, is facing a severe shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during the coronavirus outbreak.

What is typically a 7- to 10-day supply of blood at hospitals has dropped to a 2-day supply of most blood types.

Donating blood is recognized as an “essential activity” so Californians can still go out to donate blood, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order issued last week.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.