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Can I Donate Blood If I Have Been Exposed to Coronavirus?

Keep this in mind if you plan to donate blood during the coronavirus pandemic

 

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Due to the novel coronavirus, which has spread rapidly through multiple countries including the United States, the need for blood and platelet donations from healthy individuals is crucial. The Red Cross is encouraging blood and platelet donors to continue scheduling appointments throughout the crisis — but are people who have been exposed to the virus eligible to donate?

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The Red Cross only accepts blood from individuals who are healthy at the time of their donation. Individuals who have been exposed to or recently recovered from the coronavirus must wait 28 days after being symptom-free to donate their blood. The Red Cross is also seeking plasma donations from fully recovered COVID-19 patients. Survivors of the coronavirus could have antibodies in their plasma, making it a possible treatment for patients who are severely affected by the virus.

Donors must also be 16 years or older and weigh at least 110 pounds. All donors are required to wear a face mask at the time of their donation. Donors will also have their temperature checked and undergo a mini-physical to ensure they’re healthy on the day of their donation.

Someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds, but less than 38% of the population is eligible to donate. The potential for the coronavirus to spread through blood is currently unknown, but there have been no reported cases of the virus spreading due to blood or platelet transfusions.

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The Red Cross has made it possible for people to donate even in areas that have shelter-in-place declarations. If you’re looking for more ways to give back to your community than just by donating blood, here’s how to send free meals to frontline coronavirus workers as well as other acts of kindness you can do from home.