COVID-19: Frequently asked questions

COVID-19: Frequently asked questions

Last updated: July 18, 2020

Volunteering at Héma-Québec during the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic that we’re currently going through is unprecedented and requires us to adapt and to adjust our actions on a daily basis. To ensure your safety and that of employees and donors, additional measures have been deployed. Therefore, before accessing one of Héma-Québec’s collection sites or facilities:

  • You will be asked seven questions:
    • Are you feeling well today?
    • Do you have a fever?
    • Do you have a cough?
    • Have you been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
    • In the last 14 days, have you been outside of Canada?
    • Have you lost your sense of smell and taste in the past 14 days?
  • Your temperature will be taken.
  • You will be asked to wash and/or disinfect your hands before entering.
  • You will be issued a surgical mask if, due to the nature of your duties, you have to be within the two-metre physical-distancing limit.

If you have COVID-19, you will have to wait 14 days starting from the date of your recovery before you can be involved in a drive or go to a Héma-Québec site.

Since Saturday, July 18, the Quebec government has made it 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. Masks will be made available to you if your activities do not enable you to maintain the recommended two-metre distance.

If you have been outside of Canada, you must comply with the 14-day isolation order issued by the Government of Quebec before you can be involved in a drive or go to a Héma-Québec facility.

Any volunteer who has been in contact with someone who is or has been infected or suspected of being infected with COVID-19, must wait 14 days starting from the date of that person’s recovery before you can volunteer. If the tests show an absence of COVID-19, you can return immediately.

Yes, people aged 70 or older can again join the ranks of blood donors and volunteers. The public health authorities have given Héma-Québec the green light to allow it to benefit from the contribution of this essential group at collection sites.

If you want to know more about what Héma-Québec has put in place at its collection sites, you can consult the section Héma-Québec during the pandemic.

General information about COVID-19

Héma-Québec is constantly monitoring the situation with public health authorities in Quebec and Canada and will adapt its approach as the situation evolves.

In the pandemic context, to ensure the safety of the blood supply and that of the donors, additional measures are being taken and some selection criteria are revised.

It is a family of viruses that generally cause respiratory illnesses. The symptoms are usually mild to moderate, and mainly cause an acute respiratory infection:

  • runny nose
  • headaches
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • fever
  • generally feeling unwell

In rare cases, difficulty breathing and pulmonary diseased have also been described. The coronavirus (SRAS-CoV-2) associated with the disease COVID-19 has been isolated in respiratory tract fluids. However, a non-infectious virus has been detected in serum and blood collection samples.

The virus has been completely sequenced, and a screening test is available in Quebec.

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.

Recognized hygiene measures, such as hand washing and avoiding contact with infected people, remain the best way to prevent infection.