Australian Capital Territory coronavirus update

Australian Capital Territory coronavirus update

See the latest about COVID-19 and donating blood in the Australian Capital Territory.

Can I still donate blood during the lockdown in the ACT?

Yes. Donating blood is an essential act of care-giving. Our Victorian, NSW and Brisbane donor centres all remained open during previous lockdowns and donor centres were places of wellness for donors to come in and donate. That is also the case for the current lockdown in the ACT.

Are your donor centres still open in lockdown areas?

Yes, our donor centres in the lockdown areas are still open. Donating blood is an essential service and we need donors to continue donating throughout the lockdown.

Can donors from lockdown areas donate outside their home suburb?

Donating blood is an essential service. ACT government advice is clear that people can travel outside their postcodes for essential reasons.

Is it safe for people to donate during the lockdown?

Our donor centres are very low risk places to visit and we are taking all necessary steps to ensure that stays the case. 

Lifeblood facilities are strictly regulated by the Therapeutic Good Administration, and as such our ongoing operating procedures must always comply with the highest safety and hygiene standards, including extensive cleaning.

The risk of transmission remains very low, due to the many measures already in place to minimise the risk of infection including: 

  • restricting access to essential staff only with no visitors
  • implementing social distancing in all work areas and common areas in our donor centres 
  • installing additional hygiene stations
  • a clear directive that unwell staff should not come to work
  • supporting working from home where possible
  • generous leave entitlements and support for employees who are unwell or required to self-isolate or quarantine. 
  • face masks for all staff and donors in line with government requirements.

We have also implemented further measures to help protect our donors and our teams, including wellness checks, which require donors to undergo a non-contact temperature check prior to entering our centres. We also require all donors to complete a questionnaire aimed at protecting both them, our staff and donors and the person who may receive their blood.

Will masks be provided for ACT donors or should they supply their own?

If you donate in ACT and do not have a mask, we will provide you with one. We strongly encourage donors to wear surgical masks if possible, as cloth masks can vary more in effectiveness.  If you have a cloth mask and would prefer to wear a surgical mask during your donation we can also provide you with one.

Will someone who donates in ACT be allowed to donate if they refuse to wear a mask?

No, unless they have a medical exemption. We will ask donors who refuse to wear a mask to postpone their appointment until the public health advice is updated. We are closely guided by Federal and State/Territory public health guidelines which we carefully monitor.

Will you refuse entry to a donor centre for someone who refuses to wear a mask?

Yes, if they do not have a medical exemption, because the requirement to wear masks is for the safety of both our donors and our staff and is currently recommended by the government. Donors need a valid reason but written proof is not required.

Are there any extra donor restrictions because of the community transmission risk?

When there has been cases of infectious people in the community, we ask that all donors are aware of and regularly check the ACT Health Website COVID-19 exposure locations in the ACT - COVID-19 for current COVID-19 locations and alerts regarding potential exposure sites from the COVID-19 cases before donating.

If you have been at one of these locations, you should follow public health advice. If you have been advised to quarantine for 14 days you are considered a close contact and cannot donate blood for 14 days following exposure and you have been cleared by public health. If you have been to a listed location where you must present for a COVID test and isolate until a negative result, you must follow public health directions including having a COVID-19 test and await the result before you donate. If required, please reschedule your donation.