Region has dropped to an 2-3 day blood supply, similar to levels during the peak of the pandemic

NEW YORK — New York Blood Center (NYBC) today announced a blood emergency as fears of the COVID-19 Delta Variant are leading to cancelled blood drives and a drop in donations.

In recent weeks, the blood supply has dropped from 5 days to a 2-3 day supply and 1-2 day supply of type O; NYBC warns this could signal more severe shortages in the weeks ahead. There has been a chronic blood shortage throughout the pandemic, but NYBC had anticipated the supply would rebound soon when vaccinated New Yorkers resumed some normal activities. NYBC also expected school and office blood drives to return this fall. The Delta variant has halted that recovery and threatens the blood supply.

Blood drives that had been planned by community organizations, businesses and schools are being cancelled and fewer donors are making appointments at donor centers.

“We are deeply worried by the recent drop in donations and blood drive cancelations — at this concerning time it’s critical that healthy donors continue to come forward to help their neighbors,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Senior Executive Director at New York Blood Center. “A robust blood supply is essential for our healthcare system to function and we must do everything we can to strengthen it at this time of uncertainty. We are so grateful to our donors for continuing to show up and encourage more New Yorkers to join them to ensure there’s enough blood for the thousands who need transfusion each day in New York.”

Donating blood is safe and it only takes one hour. We are taking extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. NYBC staff are also practicing health self-assessments prior to presenting at work. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available here.

Donors can schedule appointments by calling 1-800-933-2566 or visiting