SDI Productions/E+ via Getty Images

Do Labs Screen My Blood for Coronavirus at the Time of My Donation?

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 does your blood get screened for the coronavirus at the time of your donation?

Simple Ways to Deal With Everyday Stress

While the Red Cross only accepts blood from healthy individuals who are at least 16 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds, each donor is screened for transmissible diseases by questionnaire at the time of their donation. Each unit of blood is also screened for various infectious diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, blood is not being screened for the novel coronavirus, but if you have been exposed to the virus, you must wait 28 days after being symptom-free to donate your blood.

All donors are required to wear a face mask at the time of their donation. Donors will also have their temperature checked and will 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.

Related

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.