Press Releases

San Diego Blood Bank Asks the Community to Donate Blood in Anticipation of Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19

SAN DIEGO (March 4, 2020) – San Diego Blood Bank continues its efforts to monitor and respond to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) with the safety of the U.S. blood supply and blood donors our top priority. There is no known risk to the safety of the nation’s blood supply.

Individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 from donating blood. COVID-19 also continues to pose no known risk to patients receiving blood transfusions, with no reported or suspected cases of transfusion transmission of this virus.

Increased donations are needed now as San Diego Blood Bank prepares for possible decreased blood donations as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions. If the outbreak continues to spread, additional challenges could arise, which could potentially reduce the number of eligible donors further.

“We are working with local hospitals to fill hospital inventory in anticipation of a potential drop in supply due to travel restrictions or other potential impact of the coronavirus,” said David Wellis, CEO, San Diego Blood Bank. “We are encouraging people to come donate blood to ensure a safe supply is available.”

San Diego Blood Bank is currently deferring people who have travelled to areas with WHO level 3 travel notices (currently China, Italy, Iran and South Korea) for 28 days from their date of departure from the outbreak area. If donors have been exposed to or treated for coronavirus, they are also deferred for 28 days. People experiencing coronavirus symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, should not attempt to donate.

San Diego Blood Bank strongly encourages all healthy individuals to donate blood. To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds, and be in general good health. To make an appointment, visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org or call (619) 400-8251.