In Canada and around the globe, information on COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. It is dominating our news, conversations with friends and family and our professional lives. With so much coming at us, we want to make it easy for employees to access the latest updates on how Canadian Blood Services is responding.
What kind of updates can you expect? This daily digest will highlight the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters.
Things are moving quickly, so you can expect to hear from us daily. No access to email? No problem — all of this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees. You can reach this one-stop portal from any device, no login required.
Here is the latest.
Changes in donor eligibility: As of Monday, March 30, the following changes to donor eligibility will be in effect.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 are ineligible to donate until 14 days after their complete recovery. This also includes people who have not been tested for COVID-19, but who have developed a fever and cough within 14 days of 1) Travel outside of Canada, 2) Close contact with another person who has tested positive and 3) Close contact with a person who has a cough or is experiencing difficulty breathing and who had travelled outside of Canada in the two weeks before their symptoms started.
People, other than asymptomatic Health care workers and First Responders using protective equipment, who have been exposed to the people described above are also temporarily ineligible to the donate.
People who have been exposed to symptomatic people who have not been tested and who have not travelled, are eligible provided they do not have symptoms themselves.
Two new questions are being added to the donor questionnaire asking donors if they have had COVID-19 in the last 28 days, or if they have had contact in the last 14 days with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
We are constantly reviewing our eligibility criteria as we learn more about the latest evidence about the nature of COVID-19 and how it spreads. We expect more changes as the situation evolves. A link to the full scope of eligibility changes will be provided to you in Monday’s daily digest.
Suspending pre-donation snacks in donor centres: We are constantly reviewing our donor centre procedures to ensure we are limiting the risk of infection to donors, employees and volunteers. To further protect the health and safety of all individuals who walk through our doors, effective tomorrow March 27, we are suspending the use of pre-donation salty snacks in our donor centres and mobile events. This is a responsible step to limit the risk of spread through touching the mouth with fingers directly prior to the donation process. We are implementing the following measures to ensure that donors continue to have a safe donation experience:
Donors will be reminded prior to their donation that they should eat a salty snack in addition to drinking lots of water before their arrival.
During their donation, our team will be asking donors to perform muscle tension exercises to prevent post-donation reactions.
By appointment only: In compliance with the physical distancing advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada, we will only be welcoming people with appointments to our donor centres and mobile events. This measure will enable us to minimize the number of people inside our facilities and pre-screen all who come through our doors through the pre-screening questionnaire provided when appointments are booked.
Honouring Canada’s Lifeline: Each spring, at recognition events across the country, we come together to celebrate and show gratitude for our dedicated milestone donor community. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be postponing these regional recognition events until further notice.
Have questions? Check out blood.ca/employees or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org