Queensland coronavirus update

Queensland coronavirus update

See the latest about COVID-19 and donating blood in Queensland.

Should donors from Queensland be wearing masks when they come in to donate?

Yes, if they are donating at the following donor centres: Brisbane, Chermside, Strathpine, Springwood, Southport, Robina, Ipswich, Maroochydore, and Nambour. This is in line with the government instructions for indoor mask use. 

On the 20th August at 4pm in line with the removal of restrictions in Cairns, donors are no longer required to wear face masks when donating at Cairns Donor Centre.

Masks are also required when donating at a mobile donor centre.

No masks are required in donor centres not mentioned above unless a donor wishes to wear a mask.

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

If you donate at a donor centre where masks are required we will supply you with a face mask if you do not have one. We strongly encourage donors to wear single use surgical masks if possible, as cloth masks can vary more in effectiveness.

If you donate at a donor centre where face masks are not required and you wish to wear a face mask please bring your own mask.

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

Yes, in an area where masks are mandated by government, if they do not have a medical exemption. The requirement to wear masks is introduced for the safety of both our donors and our staff and is currently recommended by the government.

Are there any extra donor restrictions with the current Queensland transmission risk?

We are keeping a close watching brief on the recent community transmission cases in Queensland. When there has been cases of recent community transmission, we ask that all donors are aware of and regularly check the Queensland Health website 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 donating blood.

Why are the Cairns and Mackay donor centres now only collecting plasma?

Blood has a short shelf-life, and it must be tested, processed and stored within strict timeframes. The reduction in air services from Far North and North Queensland to Brisbane, where our nearest processing centre is located, means these strict timeframes may not be able to be met.

Switching to plasma only collections, which are not affected by the same strict timeframes, provides us with greater flexibility to transport donated plasma to Brisbane and ensures that Australian patients are still getting the life-saving plasma medicines they require. 

How long will Cairns and Mackay donor centres be plasma-only donor centres?

The move to plasma-only collections in Cairns and Mackay will continue while there are interruptions to reliable air transport services.

Are plasma donations as important as whole blood donations?

Absolutely. Plasma is full of important proteins and nutrients, which protect us against invaders and help our blood to clot. These proteins and nutrients are used to support patients when they’re at their most vulnerable. Plasma can be the last line of defence in the treatment of many serious medical conditions. You can read more about plasma here.

Will blood still be available to North Queenslanders in an emergency?

Yes, we are a national blood service and there will be no disruption to the availability of blood due to these changes. North and Far North Queensland patients will continue to receive all the blood and blood products they need.