SDI Productions/E+ via Getty Images

Can I Donate Blood During Coronavirus If I Recently Traveled?

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


SDI Productions/E+ via Getty Images

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 recently traveled eligible to donate?

Simple Ways to Deal With Everyday Stress

While many countries have instituted travel restrictions to mitigate risks of the novel coronavirus spreading, you aren’t necessarily ineligible to donate blood if you’ve recently traveled. According to the Food and Drug Administration some donor establishments will defer donors who have traveled due to the coronavirus. For example, Vitalant is deferring donations from anyone who has traveled outside of the U.S. in the last four weeks. According to the Red Cross, people who have recently traveled should come prepared with their travel details at the time of their donation.

The basic requirements for donating blood include being in good health, being 16 years or older and weighing at least 110 pounds.

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.


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.