Cam High Blood Drive: Changes Implemented for COVID-19


Oxnard Union High School District is holding their annual blood drive for students to participate in at the YMCA located in Camarillo this coming December 8th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This year Vitalant, the blood drive company will be set up a bit different, as well as being at a different location than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The process for the blood drive will also be revised to make sure the proper precautions are being taken to keep everyone socially distanced, and consequently, COVID-19-free.

Mary Harris, Cam High’s nurse, is in charge of setting up dates, time, place, and sign-ups. Harris strongly suggests that students participate in the blood drive. “Giving blood takes only an hour of time and is the gift of life to someone in need. I believe those who can should get into the good habit of donating blood.” Harris that the precautions being taken by Vitalant are stern. Vitalant will have their own set of safety guidelines that need to be followed to ensure all employees and donors are safe. The guidelines includes taking temperatures at the door, wearing a mask, placing donations, beds separated six feet apart, sanitizing equipment constantly, limiting donors per time period, etc.

Angelica Melendez, a senior at Cam High, donated for the third time this year, including when she participated in the fall blood drive that took place on October 19th, 2020. She said, “This year they checked temperatures… wearing a mask was mandatory by both employees and yourself. The chairs were separated six feet apart and once someone is done they would wipe off the seat for the next person.”  Despite the challenges that come with ensuring safety for those who participates as well as the medical professionals, the staff has found a safe way to set up the blood drive, and have been able to provide the resources for people to donate blood to those in need.

A growing concern that holds people back from giving blood is the fact that they simply have to go out. However, the staff is making sure to take all precautions, and they recommend you to go if eligible. Melendez recommends students to go because you could simply be helping another human who could desperately use the assistance.

“It helps people out who really need it.” Victoria Bates, a senior at Cam High, also recommends students to participate because, not only are you doing something beneficial for those around you–even if they are strangers, you could also possibly get a cord when you graduate: “… there is a blood shortage, and it is really good to donate, and, you could get a cord too.” Cam High requires students to get their blood drawn and donated five times to receive a cord, but due to these difficult times the requirements have gone down, you are only recommended a minimum of  three times as of now.

To participate in the blood drive, start by emailing Mary Harris at  [email protected] to organize all the details. A friendly reminder: to ensure everyone’s safety, there will be specific guidelines which everyone is expected to follow.