Frequently asked questions

Even during a pandemic, 1,000 blood donations are needed every day to meet the needs of people awaiting transfusions of blood products. Therefore, it is still essential for Héma-Québec to fulfill its critical mission of collecting blood donations for the people of Québec.

Héma-Québec reiterates that it is carrying out its activities in keeping with the measures from the public health authorities.

Continuation of blood collection activities

All GLOBULE and PLASMAVIE donor centres are operating normally, and many blood drives are held every day at various locations in Québec.

Find out where to give near you.

Book an appointment.

Under the exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19, Héma-Québec must continuously adapt its supply strategy to ensure the safety of donors, volunteers and employees and to comply with government directives. Since additional logistical challenges can arise with the regional collections, we might be there less often than usual.

Find out where to give near you.

The government’s ban on indoor and outdoor gatherings includes exceptions, some of which apply to Héma-Québec.

No suspension of blood donation activities is covered by the government’s Order in Council:

  • Gatherings are required for blood donation activities.
  • Access to the premises in order to hold blood collections is necessary.
  • It’s important to recall that our blood collection sites are attended by donors who are healthy at the time of donating.

Additional safety measures deployed

Héma-Québec applies strict measures—at all times, not just during a pandemic—to ensure the safety of donors and of the blood.

Blood donation candidates must undergo a rigorous selection process, and only healthy people are eligible to give blood. Moreover, Héma-Québec has always asked people who have a fever or who feel unwell to not come to clinic locations.

There is also no risk of contracting an illness by giving blood, because all of the materials used for collecting blood are new, sterile, sealed and used only once.

To date, the following additional measures have been implemented:

  • Every donor and volunteer are asked additional questions beforehand:
    • Do you have a fever?
    • Do you have a cough?
  • Wearing a medical mask, issued by Héma-Québec, is mandatory for all (employees, volunteers and donors) at all times.
  • Regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
  • Addition of acrylic panels at all collection sites.

No. Blood drives and GLOBULE and PLASMAVIE centre activities are considered essential and are not affected by this measure.

The risk level for COVID-19 remains low for transfusions. At this time, there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted by transfusion. The transmission by transfusion of a respiratory virus—including COVID-19—has never been documented.

Qualification criteria for donating blood during the pandemic

These criteria are in addition to those already in effect, which you can read on the Who can donate? page.

If you have contracted COVID-19, you must wait to donate for 14 days after a full recovery before you may attend a clinic or donor center.

If a donor has been in contact* with someone infected with or suspected of being infected with COVID-19 or if the donor has been ordered to quarantine, they must wait 14 days after the last contact or 14 days after the start of the quarantine.

*The donor’s exposure to the person must be significant (exposure at home or indoor exposure in a limited space without wearing a mask).

For any questions about a specific situation, please contact our Donor Services: 1-800-847-2525.

Yes. If the tests are negative for COVID-19 and if you also meet usual qualification criteria, you are eligible to donate blood.

Autorised vaccines by Health Canada do not involve a blood donation prohibition period. Someone who has been vaccinated and is feeling well may donate without delay.

What you need to know before going to a collection site

Booking an appointment is the preferred option. Book an appointment.

However, if you are passing by a collection site and are available to donate blood, do not hesitate to check with our team if we can accommodate you.

During this pandemic period, in order to control the number of people and promote social distancing, someone accompanying you must also be donating blood. Therefore, you cannot be accompanied to a collection site with a child or someone not donating blood.

It is mandatory to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces. The places where blood drives are held and fixed centres are considered to be indoor public spaces. Wearing a mask is therefore mandatory for everyone (employees, volunteers and donors) at all times.

Yes, each donor will be issued a mask by Héma-Québec and will be required to wear it during their entire time at the collection site.

No. Donors must wear the mask provided by Héma-Québec in order to access the collection site.

Medical masks have proven effective in preventing respiratory infections. That is not necessarily true with home-made face coverings since those products have not been certified.

Also, because Héma-Québec has no way to ensure that the mask worn by the donor upon arrival, even if certified, has been handled properly and in accordance with the public health recommendations.

This measure is intended to ensure the safety of donors, volunteers and employees at blood collection sites.

Donors wearing a mask during their entire time at a collection site involves adapting the rules around consuming water and snacks at collection sites.

So, the salty snack is no longer given before donating. However, a bottle of water can be provided to donors who did not hydrate before arriving. The donor must drink it in a designated hydration area.

These adjustments are in place to prevent donors from handling their masks and bringing their hands to their faces while they are at the collection site. A snack after the donation will be provided, but will have to be eaten outside the collection site.

Héma-Québec reiterates the importance of good hydration before donating blood and recommends that donors drink water and eat a salty snack before going to the collection site.

No. A collection site is not the place to get tested for COVID-19, HIV or hepatitis B and C.

If you think you may be at risk, we ask that you not go to a collection site for the safety of other donors and Héma-Québec staff and volunteers.

No. Since the transfusion transmission of coronavirus—including COVID-19—has never been shown, Héma-Québec does not test blood donations for COVID-19.

General information about COVID-19

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