Yoshiyoshi Hirokawa/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Can Blood Donors Wear a Mask When Donating During Coronavirus?

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


Yoshiyoshi Hirokawa/DigitalVision 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 can you wear a mask at the time of your donation?

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There are a handful of basic requirements when donating blood — you must feel healthy at the time of your donation, be at least 16 years old and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds. But during the coronavirus pandemic, the guidelines for donating have increased. Not only are you allowed to wear a mask at the time of your donation, but you are actually required to by the Red Cross. If you don’t own a mask and still want to donate, one will be provided to you.

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.


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.