Supporting patients together through Omicron
We are so grateful for the donors — new and returning — who are helping us save lives through the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we ask people across Canada to continue supporting us through the Omicron wave.
As Omicron continues to spread across the country, it is also impacting our operations. Our employees and donors are among those falling ill or being required to isolate. For these reasons, and also because of severe weather in parts of the country, we’ve seen a concerning drop in donations recently. By booking appointments over the next several weeks, donors can help us reverse this worrying trend before the situation becomes urgent.
Today, new donors are more important than ever
Even before Omicron, the pandemic had brought many changes to Canadian Blood Services. We miss seeing donors socialize over snacks in our centres. We miss meeting people at blood typing events and recruitment events for our stem cell registry. Those personal connections mean so much. They’re how so many people first find their place in Canada’s Lifeline. Without them, we’re seeing fewer people donating blood or plasma for the first time, or joining the stem cell registry. This worries us, especially as we have asked so much of our returning donors through this pandemic.
Today, new donors are more important than ever. While one in every two people in Canada are eligible to donate blood, plasma or platelets, only one in 81 actually do. We absolutely require new regular donors to keep meeting the needs of patients in Canada, now and into the future.
Even with physical distancing and precautions in place, donating is still a wonderful and rewarding experience. If you are thinking about donating blood, plasma or platelets for the first time, we would love to welcome you. If you are between the ages of 17 and 35, we also urge you to request a registration kit in the mail to join the stem cell registry.
Appointments, including same-day, are available every day in many locations
Here are some things to keep in mind as we navigate the latest pandemic wave together:
- Enhanced wellness measures remain in effect at our sites to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our donors, employees and volunteers. More detailed information about our COVID-19 response, and answers to frequently asked questions, is available here.
- Giving blood is essential. Even during lockdowns, we continue to welcome donors at our sites. If you are well and not required to isolate, please keep your appointment.
- Public health guidelines around isolation are changing frequently across Canada. If you have an appointment coming up, we encourage you to check the latest public health guidance in your area to determine if you are required to isolate at home. You can also call 1 888 2 DONATE with questions about your eligibility to donate.
- If you need to cancel because you are required to isolate, or because winter conditions prevent you from travelling safely to your appointment, we understand. If you take the time to cancel, we may be able to invite another donor to fill your spot. You can also help by booking a new appointment for later.
- With COVID-19 making everything less predictable, from staffing at our centres to the demand for blood, we may need to reschedule your appointment. We appreciate your patience and flexibility.
- If you are unable to book an appointment to donate blood or plasma right away, please consider booking one the following month. The need is ongoing.
- Some of you are choosing to wear N95 or N95-like respirators when visiting our centres. We respect your decision and will not ask you to remove your respirator. We will continue to provide high quality surgical masks to all donors. If you wear a cloth or surgical mask to your appointment, we will ask you to either swap it for one of our masks, or wear our surgical mask on top of your own.
- If you have recently had a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine you are welcome to donate. There is no waiting period.
You can check out our Stories page and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for stories about inspiring donors and the patients they help. We urge you to read and share them with friends and loved ones, along with information about all ways to give. And consider posting on social media about what being part of Canada’s Lifeline means to you.