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Can I donate blood in Canada after recovering from COVID-19?

Last Updated Jun 8, 2020 at 11:47 am PDT

A bag of blood is shown at a clinic in Montreal, Thursday, November 29, 2012. Tougher iron guidelines for blood donors will almost certainly reduce collections in the short term, said a spokesman for Canadian Blood Services as the national agency appealed for more donations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Summary

Confirmed and potential COVID-19 patients must wait at least two weeks after recovery to donate blood

Drop-ins have been suspended, blood donations must be booked in advance

NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are responding to your questions in a segment we call NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.

Question:

Can you donate blood if you have had COVID-19?

Answer:

Not right away. You’ll have to wait at least 14 days after you’ve recovered from COVID-19 to be able to donate blood, says Canadian Blood Services (CBS)

You also can’t donate for at least two weeks after an infected person’s recovery if:

  • You have a cough or fever within 14 days of being in contact with a COVID-19 patient
  • You have those symptoms within two weeks of travelling outside Canada
  • You’ve developed a fever after “close contact” with someone who has got sick within two weeks of their own international travel

“People exposed in the community or at work to those above may also be temporarily ineligible,” CBS says on its website.

You’re asked to refrain from donating blood for 14 days after entering Canada following travels in the continental U.S., Europe and Antarctica. If you’re coming from anywhere else, you should wait 21 days, CBS says.

If you have questions about your eligibility to donate, you can call 1-888-2-6283 or visit blood.ca.

While the current scientific evidence suggests COVID-19 cannot be transmitted via blood, Canada Blood Services says it “has strict measures in place to ensure the continued safety of our products and services related to blood, plasma, stem cells, and organs and tissues, and to address the health of our donors.”

The agency has also ended drop-in donations. If you want to donate, you need to book an appointment at blood.ca, on the GiveBlood app or by calling 1-888-236-6283.

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