Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At the Welsh Blood Service, we take great care to ensure the safety of our blood supply and the health and well-being of our donors and patients during the current Covid-19 outbreak to ensure the optimal safety of our patients and donors.

The Welsh Blood Service is closely monitoring all developments in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak and are regularly putting measures in place to maintain blood supply safety which are outlined in the questions and answers section below:

Booking an appointment:
Can I donate?
Can I still donate if I am 70 or over due to the coronavirus situation?
Can I donate if I have received a letter from NHS Wales or been advised to comply with stringent social distancing due to being a member of a vulnerable health group?
Can I donate if I live in a household with a person classes as belonging to a vulnerable group?
Are you going to reduce the donation intervals for donation?

Face coverings:
Do I have to wear a face covering?
Will you provide a face mask for any donor without a face covering?
Does it matter what sort of face covering I wear?
Must I keep my face covering on throughout the donation session?
What if I have an exemption from wearing a face covering?

Our donation sessions:
Is it OK to wear disposable gloves at a donation clinic?
Will my donation session go ahead?
Are your donation clinic environments safe?
What about social distancing on session?
Can I bring someone with me when I’m donating?
What time should I come now? Why was I asked to wait outside before coming into the session?

Coronavirus (Covid-19):
Do you test for coronavirus?
Can my blood donation pass on COVID-19?
Am I more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 if I have given blood?
What is COVID-19?
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
What do I do if I have been to an affected area or in contact with a case of COVID-19 and have these symptoms?
What can I do to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus?

Vaccinations:
When can I donate blood after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine?


Can’t find the question you are looking for?

Call 0800 252 266 to find out more.
Monday – Friday | 08:00 to 20:00
Saturday | 09:00 to 13:00


Your questions answered

Can I Donate?

If you have  tested positive for  COVID-19, you can donate when at least 28 days have passed following your recovery of symptoms. You may be left with a dry cough, but as long as you feel well, you can then donate.

If you have had symptoms of Covid-19 but have not had a test, you can donate when at least 28 days have passed following your recovery of symptoms

If you have been in self-isolation because of contact with someone who is unwell, you cannot donate until:

  • 14 days from the first day of isolation if you remain symptom free.
  • 28 days following resolution of any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 you may have developed whilst in self-isolation.
  • If you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is showing symptoms suggestive of the disease, BUT you have not been advised to self-isolate, you can continue to donate as long as you are well.

If you have travelled to an area that requires you to quarantine when you return, you must wait for 10 days following your return to the UK before you donate, as long as you remain well.

are experiencing symptoms of ‘Long Covid’, for your own health and wellbeing please do not donate until you are fully fit and well.  Please contact us to discuss any cardiac issues that you have experienced as a result of Covid-19 infection prior to making your appointment.

In all instances, if you donate, it is important that you report any illnesses that you develop in the 14 days post donation.

Travel to blood donation sessions is essential.

 


Do I have to wear a face covering?

The safety of donors and staff during the Covid 19 pandemic remains our priority. In line with Public Health advice and Welsh Government guidance there is a requirement for donors to wear a face covering unless an exemption applies, whilst attending our donation sessions. 

 


Will you provide a face mask for any donor without a face covering?

Yes, we will provide you with a medical grade face mask that we will ask you to wear whilst at the donation clinic. 

 


Does it matter what sort of face covering I wear?

We are currently asking donors to wear one of the medical grade face masks provided.

A visor or face shield is not considered as a face covering as they fit loosely over the eyes  and extend down over but do not cover the nose and mouth.

 


Must I keep my face covering on throughout the donation session?

There are brief periods of time within the donation process where you will be required to lower your face covering, this includes during the screening assessment and when taking post donation refreshments. Outside of these occasions we would request that you leave your face covering in place.

We would also advise you to ensure that you sanitise your hands with hand sanitiser available within the session after touching your face covering.

 


What if I have an exemption from wearing a face covering?

Donors who are exempt from wearing a face covering are able to donate without a face covering.

 


Is it OK to wear disposable gloves at a donation clinic?

Donors who attend wearing disposable gloves will be asked to remove them at triage prior to entering the clinic. They will also need to wash their hands or use the hand sanitiser at that point.

 


Can I donate if I have received a letter from NHS Wales or been advised to comply with stringent social distancing due to being a member of a vulnerable health group?

WBS would advise you not to donate at this time if this applies to you.

 


Can I donate if I live in a household with a person classed as belonging to a vulnerable group?

If you are fully self-isolating as a household due to a person in the household being in a vulnerable group then please do not attend.  If you are not attending please cancel your appointment if you have one.

 


Do you test for coronavirus?

WBS do not test for SARS-CoV-2 routinely. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses. At present, there is no evidence of any type of coronavirus being transmitted through blood donation or transfusion.

 


Can my blood donation pass on COVID-19?

There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmissible by blood transfusion, and our strict screening process means we don’t allow people who are unwell to donate blood.

 


Am I more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 if I have given blood?

No. We don’t take enough blood to compromise your immune system and as long as you are fit and healthy when you donate you are not at any additional risk.

 


Will my donation session go ahead?

Currently our blood donation clinics continue to operate as usual.

We are constantly evaluating the situation here in Wales and are keeping up-to-date with the latest advice and guidance on the coronavirus outbreak. We are also in regular contact with all our clinic host venues, Public Health Wales and Welsh Government colleagues to ensure we can continue to safely collect our blood donations across Wales.

If we have to cancel a clinic you will receive a direct message from us informing you it has been cancelled via your chosen communication preferences.

 


Are you donation clinics environments safe?

We follow strict guidelines and controls to reduce the risk of any infections being contracted at our clinics; this includes strict screening processes that ensures donors are fit and healthy before they make a donation.

All donors are pre-screened before they enter the clinic in a separate triage area.

In addition to the usual health and safety precautions for our staff and donors (which include using sterile collection sets for every donation and preparing the arm with an aseptic cleanser), spacing between donor seats and seats at the recovery tea table has been increased to comply with Public Health Wales guidance, our teams follow strict hygiene protocols when cleaning equipment and with the wearing of PPE (face masks, aprons and eye protection) and with the regular use of hand sanitiser gel.

 


What about social distancing on session?

At the Welsh Blood Service the wider safety of our donors, recipients and staff is of paramount importance.

From the point you arrive at clinic we have social distancing provisions in place. These include 2m markers when you are waiting to be triaged, 2m spacing of chairs you sit on to complete your questionnaire, donation chairs are spaced at least 2m apart as are chairs at our post donation recovery tea tables.

 


Can I bring someone with me when I’m donating?

For safety reasons, during Covid-19 we’re asking that, where possible, only those giving blood enter the donation session. If this poses you with an issue please contact our Donor Contact Centre in advance of your appointment to discuss.

 


What time should I come now? Why was I asked to wait outside before coming into the session?

We’re asking blood donors to only come into the session at their appointment time, to help maintain social distancing during triaging and then inside the venue. This will reduce any queuing and help protect everyone’s health. If people arrive early, our teams may ask them to wait nearby – for example in their car – in order for them to come into the session at the best time. The situation has been changing quickly and we’re asking people to be patient and respectful of each other and our blood donation teams, to help us best support the wider NHS.

 


Are you going to reduce the donation intervals for donation?

Our current donation intervals still stand for donation as this will allow time for the body to restore iron levels, haemoglobin levels and red blood cell levels.

 


Donors over 70

Can I still donate if I am 70 or over due to the coronavirus situation?

Yes. You can continue to donate if you are well and have given a full donation in the last two years. There is no longer a restriction based on the latest government guidelines.

 

 


What is COVID-19?

Covid-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China. Coronavirus are a group of viral diseases that can cause coughing, fever, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. It can be more severe in older people, those with weakened immune systems and some long-term conditions like diabetes or cancer.

 


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral disease that can cause symptoms such as:

  • cough
  • fever
  • loss, or change in sense of smell and/or taste
  • shortness of breath / difficulty breathing

If you are concerned regarding the symptoms of COVID-19 or would like more information NHS Direct Wales have developed an automated online symptom checker suitable for anyone living in Wales and can be used for people of all ages. It can be accessed by clicking here.

 


What do I do if I have been to an affected area or in contact with a case of COVID-19 and have these symptoms?

To view the latest guidance and self-isolation advice from Public Health Wales click here.

 


What can I do to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus?

Do
Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser for at least 20 seconds:

  • After breaks and sports activities.
  • Before cooking and eating.
  • On arrival at any childcare or educational setting.
  • After using the toilet
  • Before leaving home.

If you need to cough or sneeze:

  • Catch it with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Bin it. Put used tissue in the bin straight away.
  • Kill it. By washing your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser.

Stop germs spreading by using the e-Bug resources on hand and respiratory hygiene available here.

Don’t
Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Do not share items that come into contact with your mouth such as cups and bottles.

If unwell do not share items such as bedding, dishes, pencils and towels.


When can I donate blood after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine?

Blood should not be donated until at least seven days after receiving either the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. You must also be well with no ongoing local or systemic reactions to the vaccine.

If you participated in a COVID–19 vaccine trial:

  • blood cannot be donated until 4 weeks after the most recent immunisation , or
  • if you are still within any deferral period advised in the protocol for any clinical trial you are enrolled in.
  • if unsure, please seek further advice from the trial unit you are enrolled in.