We Are Blood’s Safety Measures for Donors and Staff in Response to COVID-19 Coronavirus

Posted: Mar 16, 2020 | Category: Latest Articles

As Central Texas braces for further impacts from the coronavirus and We Are Blood urgently asks our community to donate blood and platelets now to prepare, we wanted to share the steps we are taking to keep our donors and staff safe.

We Are Blood provides an essential service to Central Texas by ensuring lifesaving blood and platelet donations are collected and distributed to patients in need. First and foremost we want to let you know that the FDA has found no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted via blood transfusion. It is completely safe to donate blood and to receive a blood transfusion.

To ensure that we can keep our community safe while collecting blood donations, we have implemented the following protocols to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus:

  • All donors are required to wear face masks or coverings when donating with We Are Blood, at any of our centers or mobile blood drives. Please note that donors wearing a mask with a valve will be provided with an additional mask to wear over or wear instead of the mask with a valve.
  • Follow the link on how the CDC recommends you make your own mask: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
  • Donation appointments have been made mandatory at our donor centers and mobile drives to avoid crowding.
  • Every donor is directed to use We Are Blood provided hand sanitizer at registration at all donor centers and mobile drives before they check-in and begin the registration process.
  • We ask all donors to wear protective face masks.
  • Our staff is wearing protective face masks.
  • Every donation bed, interview booth, questionnaire computer, and squeeze ball at all donor centers and mobile blood drives are wiped down and cleaned after each donor’s use.
  • All donor center and mobile blood drive waiting rooms and canteen recovery areas are wiped down and cleaned every hour.
  • Health and wellness screenings are conducted on each potential donor to prevent those not feeling well from donating.
  • Donors are encouraged to maintain 6 feet social distancing in our waiting and canteen areas by staff and signage. Furniture has been arranged at all three of our donor centers to provide sitting opportunities 6 feet apart.
  • Social distancing is encouraged and maintained when possible between staff and donors. Staff are instructed to step away from donors after the donation process has begun, only coming within six feet to place the donation needle, take vitals, disconnect, and make adjustments.

We are closely following the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC)  and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines and recommendations on the steps we can take to help prevent coronavirus exposure.

While We Are Blood’s operations fit within the “critical facilities” exemption to Shelter-in-Place orders issued in Travis County, Williamson County, and surrounding areas, we are taking the above measures of increased cleanings and mandatory appointments for the safety of our donors and staff.

If you have made an appointment to donate and do not feel well, please cancel your appointment by contacting us via email or calling us at 512-206-1266.

In order to keep our blood donors and staff healthy, we ask that any individuals who have recently had:

  • Fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Have cared for, lived with, or otherwise had close contact with individuals diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You have been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19

Please wait at least 28 days after resolution of symptoms before attempting to donate blood.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and do everything in our power to protect our donors and our staff. Thank you for your continued support and we ask that if you do feel well, please consider donating. Go online to book your appointment here: https://www.wrbdonor.org/donor/schedules/geo