Memorial Blood Centers is committed to the safety of our donors, volunteers, employees and blood recipients, and to transparency with the public during throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure our community is prepared to support patients, hospitals, and health agencies in our communities, we urge individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment to give blood, platelets, or plasma.
Safety protocols for blood donors:
- Appointments are preferred. Walk-in donors may be accommodated based on capacity.
- Additional screening for COVID-19. Please stay home if you:
- have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
- have had a positive COVID-19 diagnostic test (nasal swab test) in the last 14 days
- have been told to self-quarantine due to exposure risk, including travel
Face mask or face coverings are optional. Please note face coverings are still required in medical facilities which includes our Hibbing, Superior and Virginia donor center locations.
- Complete iDonate. Manage your time by answering your health history questionnaire in advance of your appointment, on the day of your donation.
If you are feeling healthy and well* and meet general eligibility guidelines, please schedule your donation now to help ensure a stable blood supply.
Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) is committed to the safety of our donors, volunteers, employees and blood recipients, and to transparency with the public during this evolving public health emergency.
In order to ensure a safe, controlled donation environment, social distancing guidelines and additional cleaning protocols are in effect at all donation sites. We ask blood donors and staff to stay home if they are not feeling well. MBC actively monitors transmission rates and adjust policies accordingly. At this time, face masks are welcome but not required.
There is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion. In fact, there have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmission for any respiratory virus, including this coronavirus. It is safe to donate blood, and we encourage healthy individuals to donate so that blood is available for patients in need.
*If you are unsure whether to donate, or if you have donated recently and you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19, please contact us at 888-448-3253.
Valid as of April 1, 2022.
Coronavirus blood donor FAQ
- What if I have symptoms after I donate?
If you have donated recently and you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or you test positive for COVID-19, please contact us at 1-888-235-3301. If you are unsure whether to donate, please contact us at 1-844-213-5219.
- Do I need to wear a mask in the blood center?
No. At this time, face masks are welcome but not required.
- Can I donate after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
If you received an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna, or an adenovirus vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson’s, you may donate blood, platelets, or regular plasma immediately after vaccination as long as you are feeling well and all other donor criteria are met.
- What additional safety measures are being taken?
In order to ensure a safe, controlled donation environment, social distancing guidelines and additional cleaning protocols are in effect at all donation sites. We ask blood donors and staff to stay home if they are not feeling well. We are asking donors to schedule appointments ahead of time rather than walking in to donate, spacing out donor beds, and monitoring social distancing in waiting areas. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are also available at all locations.
- Can I donate blood if I've traveled recently?
We ask each donor about recent travel to regions where there is a higher risk for transfusion transmitted infections such as malaria and CJD. FDA has not established this same kind of requirement for the coronavirus since it is not known to be transmitted by blood. However, individuals who are told by public health officials to self-quarantine due to travel-related coronavirus exposure should not donate blood while they are in quarantine status. This is for the protection of our staff and other blood donors.
If you have traveled domestically and have been fully vaccinated (i.e., it has been at least 2 weeks since your final dose) or had laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in the last 3 months, there is no need to test or quarantine upon return from domestic travel as long as you do not have any COVID symptoms. If you have not been fully vaccinated and are not within 3 months of COVID recovery, CDC still recommends self-quarantine as follows. You may donate after completion of your self-quarantine:
- Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if the test result is negative.
- If not tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
- Can I catch COVID-19 by donating blood?
No. Donating blood is safe. We always use new, sterile needles that are discarded after use.
- Do you test blood before it goes to recipients?
All donated blood, including donations from repeat donors, is tested for blood type, hepatitis, HIV, syphilis, and other transfusion transmissible diseases.
- Is MBC testing donors for COVID-19?
No, Memorial Blood Centers does not test for COVID-19 or COVID-19 antibodies.
- Can you catch COVID-19 from a blood transfusion?
There is no evidence that coronaviruses are transmissible by blood transfusion. Furthermore, pre-donation screening procedures are designed to prevent donations from people with symptoms of respiratory illnesses.
- Why is it important to donate now?
It’s important for eligible blood and platelet donors to give today so that the community has a strong blood supply. Blood is a critical component of emergency preparedness because it’s perishable and the supply must be constantly replenished. The blood that’s on the shelf now is the blood that will save lives if there’s an emergency.
- Will we run out of blood?
It is important for healthy donors to donate now to build up our reserves now so that we have enough blood available to withstand any temporary shortages and help those in need.
- I have recovered from COVID-19 and want to donate plasma. What should I do?
Thank you for your interest in convalescent plasma donation. MBC is no longer collecting convalescent plasma, as of 3/17/21. In the event of a need for more convalescent plasma, MBC will contact donors.