Canadian Blood Services is responsible for the safety of the national blood supply system (excluding in Quebec). During the COVID-19 global outbreak, we will continue to deliver on this.

Blood transfusions will still be necessary for trauma accidents, cancer treatments and other urgent surgeries. 

Your donation is essential to protect our most vulnerable community members.

Canadian Blood Services has a strong record of responding quickly and effectively to public health issues as demonstrated in the past with West Nile Virus, Chagas, SARS, MERS, Zika and H1N1.

Canadian Blood Services will continue to evaluate the latest evidence and work closely with provincial/territorial partners, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Health Canada, Héma-Quebec, international blood agencies and the World Health Organization to prepare for and address a potential pandemic situation.

Current evidence and risk modelling suggests that COVID-19 is not transmissible through the transfusion of blood and blood products. Nonetheless, Canadian Blood Services has strict measures in place to ensure the continued safety of our blood supply and address the health of our donors.

Our donor centres are places of wellness. Only healthy people are eligible to donate blood. Potential donors are pre-screened for any signs of sickness when they book the appointment.  

Due to the increase in the number of countries affected and the growing number of new cases outside of Canada, Canadian Blood Services is updating its eligibility requirements for donors.

Here are some of the changes that might affect you beginning on March 16, 2020:

  • Anyone who has been asked to place themselves under quarantine will be deferred for 14 days from the date of their last suspected contact with the infection. 
  • Anyone with a suspected or confirmed infection in their household will be deferred for 14 days after the infected person’s recovery. 
  • Any donors with confirmed cases of COVID19 will be deferred for 56 days after full recovery from the infection. 

A 21-day deferral for donors returning from travel outside of Canada, the continental U.S. and Europe was put in place for Zika virus and remains active. We are continuously monitoring the situation and will adjust quickly as needed.

We are continuously evaluating whether additional assessments or deferral policies are needed or if additional measures are required to protect employees, volunteers and donors. We are confident existing routine measures continue to provide the necessary protection for employees, volunteers and donors.

Lastly, we would like to caution all donors to very carefully consider the source of any new information about COVID-19. A best practice is to confirm any new information by checking the websites of the agencies below:

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada
  2. World Health Organization
  3. Centers for Disease Control Prevention