"It's a beautiful day to save lives," the actor wrote on Instagram Monday

By Ashley Boucher
June 29, 2020 11:23 PM
Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey
| Credit: Patrick Dempsey/instagram

Dr. Derek Shepherd wants you to wear a mask!

Patrick Dempsey encouraged his fans to wear a mask to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Monday by using one of his most iconic lines from Grey's Anatomy.

"It’s a Beautiful Day to Save Lives," the actor, 54, wrote on Instagram alongside a close-up of his face covered in a white and black checkered mask.

The phrase is one that his Grey's Anatomy character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, often said before performing surgery.

Dempsey added the hash tags "#WearAMask" "#COVID19" and  "#YourActionsSaveLives" to the caption.

On Saturday, Dempsey shared a Politico video of Dr. Anthony Fauci speaking on the importance of everyone doing their part to curb the spread of the virus.

Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey

"Please, please listen to what he is saying," the Made of Honor star wrote in the caption for Fauci's message. "Take a few minutes to watch this and really pay attention. We can make this go away! We are all in this together. We can do this people, but we have to be mindful and support each other. Wear a mask please."

Dempsey's encouragement to wear a mask comes as several states across the U.S., including California, experience a surge in positive cases of COVID-19. On Monday, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health ordered all beaches in the county to close for the upcoming holiday weekend in an effort to dissuade large crowds gathering for the 4th of July. Fireworks displays will also be prohibited.

But social distancing doesn't mean that there isn't fun to be had — as Dempsey and his former Grey's Anatomy costar Eric Dane recently proved with an epic selfie back in April.

Dane, who played the "McSteamy" to Dempsey's "McDreamy," shared a photo of the two friends hanging out while maintaining a safe distance from one another.

"Blurry pic of how to hang out 6 feet apart," Dane, 47, wrote alongside the snap, which showed the actors smiling from atop a hillside.

Dane left the medical drama in 2012 after a six-season run, while Dempsey, an original cast member, exited the show in 2015.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.