New eligibility requirements for donors in response to COVID-19

Criteria draws on our latest understanding of the novel coronavirus

March 30, 2020

Our eligibility requirements for blood donors have changed.

Our eligibility requirements for blood donors have changed.

We are updating our eligibility requirements for blood donors based on our latest understanding of the novel coronavirus. Donors can expect further updates during the pandemic as our knowledge evolves.

The following people and their close contacts are not eligible to donate blood for 14 days after the infected person’s recovery:

  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19;
  • People who have developed a fever and cough after close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • People who have developed a fever and cough within 14 days of travel outside Canada
  • Those who develop a fever and cough after close contact with a symptomatic person who became ill within two weeks of travel outside Canada.

People exposed in the community or at work to those above may also be temporarily ineligible. For more information about eligibility, we ask donors to call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

We are advising anyone with symptoms of illness, even mild ones, not to visit a donor centre. Those with symptoms will be turned away at the wellness checkpoint outside the donor centre.

We ask all travellers to self-isolate and refrain from any blood donation for at least 14 days after any travel outside of Canada as stated by public health authorities. That includes travellers returning from the continental U.S., Europe and Antarctica. The deferral period is a minimum of 21 days for travellers returning from other places. Please consult the travel section on our ABCs of eligibility page for more information.

We strongly encourage all prospective donors to complete their health questionnaire online on the day of donation before coming in to donate. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions (except for “Are you feeling well today?”) including those about COVID-19 exposure, please contact 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) before coming in to donate.

Patients across Canada are still counting on healthy, eligible donors to book and honour appointments. The need for lifesaving blood products will continue throughout the pandemic in the weeks and months ahead. Enhanced cleaning and physical distancing measures are in place in our donor centres to protect donors, staff and volunteers from COVID-19.

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