COVID-19 & Blood Donation

The well-being and health of our local donors and volunteers is always our top priority. During these challenging times, Marsh Regional Blood Center is following all COVID-19 safety guidelines issued by the CDC and FDA to ensure that you are safe with us while saving lives.

Is it safe to donate blood during the pandemic?

Heath care professional wearing scrubs, mask and hair net donates blood

COVID-19 doesn’t pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives. Marsh is taking all necessary steps to prevent anyone who might be feeling unwell or running a fever from reaching our donor areas.

We have implemented the following stringent safety protocols to ensure the safety of all donors and team members:

  • All donors and team members are screened for temperature and symptoms.
  • All donors and team members are required to wear a cloth face covering.
  • Educational materials for donors are now all disposable.
  • All squeeze balls are covered with a disposable bag and changed after each use.
  • We frequently clean all high-touch surfaces and waiting areas.
  • All beds are disinfected after each use.
  • We encourage hand sanitizer use throughout the donation process.
  • We encourage social distancing with proper signage and traffic flow guidance.

Marsh Regional Blood Center continues to take appropriate measures to reduce any potential exposure to COVID-19. This includes extra disinfection and sanitization efforts, as well as additional physical distancing precautions whenever possible.

Free antibody testing

When you make a donation at Marsh Regional Blood Center, you can request COVID antibody testing for free.

When the body is exposed to COVID-19, it develops certain antibodies as part of an immune response to fight the virus. COVID antibody testing allows us to see if you have been exposed to COVID-19 at some point.

Please note that free antibody testing is only available for those who are giving a donation. It can take at least two weeks for the body to develop antibodies against COVID-19. To donate blood, you must be free of symptoms for at least 14 days.

COVID-19 vaccination

After you’ve received your vaccination, you must wait two days before you are eligible to donate blood.

You can donate blood to Marsh Regional Blood Center in between your first and second dose – as long as it’s been at least two days since you received it.

Urgent need for convalescent plasma

The convalescent plasma we receive from donors that have recovered from COVID-19 is showing real promise as a treatment for those who have severe cases of COVID-19.

If you were positively diagnosed with COVID-19 and have fully recovered – or have received a positive antibody test – you could be eligible to help those who are still fighting the virus.

What is convalescent plasma?

When someone recovers from COVID-19, they develop antibodies – proteins that the body uses to fight off infections. The blood from people who have recovered from the virus is called convalescent plasma.

Convalescent plasma is currently being used as an experimental treatment for patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms. It helps boost their ability to fight the virus. Convalescent plasma may also help keep patients who are moderately ill from becoming more ill and experiencing COVID-19 complications.

At this time, Marsh Regional Blood Center has exhausted our current supply of convalescent plasma collected from local donors. Because of this, we are in urgent need of more convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 donors in the region.

How can I donate convalescent plasma?

To qualify to donate convalescent plasma, a donor must have:

  • A prior lab-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19
  • Experienced no COVID-19 symptoms for at least 14 days
  • Meet standard donor eligibility criteria

Those who have received a positive COVID-19 antibody test can qualify, but they must provide documentation.

To find out more about convalescent plasma and how you donate, please call us at (423) 408-7517.