LOS ANGELES, March 19, 2020 — Following LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Safer at Home” emergency order, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region announced it will continue to provide services and distribute meals in collaboration with Los Angeles Unified School District. The Red Cross service and its volunteers are considered “essential activities,” alongside city/county government services, gas stations, grocery stores and health care providers among others.
The Red Cross in partnership with the LA County Office of Emergency Management is supporting Los Angeles Unified at their meal distribution centers, which opened on Wednesday, March 18, following school closure because of concerns regarding the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Though the concern of the coronavirus is still growing, so is the need for food and meals for children and families in need. Service will continue from 7-10 a.m. at the 60 Los Angeles Unified sites, and volunteers are asked to continue to support the service.
SEE: To sign up to volunteer at a Los Angeles Unified meal distribution center, please visit: redcross.org/la-covid
The health and well-being of all parties involved is of the utmost concern, and the Red Cross and Los Angeles Unified will be taking many precautions to make sure their safety has been taken into consideration. Los Angeles Unified will have thermometers to monitor student and employee health, and everyone will be asked to wash their hands upon arrival.
Red Cross volunteers will also practice social distancing, wear gloves and maintain a 6-foot distance at the meal distribution sites. We are using the same guidance required by the Department of Public Health and the CDC.
Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.
Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the American Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.
As the coronavirus pandemic has grown here in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. To date, nearly 260 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled in Los Angeles due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, resulting in 9,000 uncollected blood donations.
We know this is a stressful time and people want to know what they can do right now to protect themselves and their families. For the latest information, please visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/covid19.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/la or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossLA or @CruzRojaLA.