Victorian coronavirus updates

Victorian coronavirus updates

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

Can I still donate blood during lockdown areas in Victoria?

Yes. Donating blood is an essential act of care-giving. Our Victorian, NSW and Brisbane donor centres all remained open during previous lockdowns. That is also the case for the current lockdown in Victoria.

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. The government advice is clear that people can travel outside their postcodes for essential reasons. However, this should be done in line with government requirements limiting movement where possible. Try donating at your nearest or usual donation centre, and avoid travelling further than required to donate blood.

Is it safe for people to donate in the lockdown areas?

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.

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

Yes, face masks are currently required to donate in Victoria.

In line with the current restrictions due to the community transmission risk, masks have been introduced in all donor centres in Victoria. We will remove this requirement as soon as it is safe to do so in line with government mandates. We can provide you with a face mask to donate if necessary.

Our donor centres are places of wellness and safety, and we have implemented additional measures to ensure that remains the case during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is it still safe to donate given the risk of community transmission in Victoria?

We have implemented additional measures to ensure that our donor centres remain places of wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When there is an increased risk of community transmission we implement extra precautions, including the wearing of face masks. Face masks are required in all donor centres in Victoria in line with the government mandate.

We also ask that all donors are aware of and regularly check the Victorian Health Website Case alerts 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.

If you are able to donate blood to continue to support the one in three Australians who will need blood or a blood product during their life, please do. 

To help us with maintaining physical distancing in all our centres, please ensure you book your donation in advance and come alone. Thank you for your support!

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

Please bring your own face mask. We strongly encourage donors to wear single use surgical masks if possible, as cloth masks can vary more in effectiveness. However, if you do not have one or you wish to wear a surgical face mask, we will provide you with one.

Will someone be allowed to donate in Victoria if they don’t want to wear a mask?

No, unless they have a medical exemption. We will ask Victorian 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 required by the government. Donors need a valid reason but written proof is not required.

Can donors in border towns still donate blood?

Yes, if you live in a cross-border community but after 6pm on the 13th August you are required to obtain a permit to cross the border as per Victorian government requirements. Residents will need to apply for a permit one time only to allow border crossing for the government permitted reasons. Blood donation is an essential service. If you live in a border town, like Albury-Wodonga, you will be able to give blood at a Lifeblood donor centre. If you travel from Victoria to NSW to donate you should follow the restrictions from the state you are in. That means wearing a face mask when you donate if you live in Victoria and travel to NSW to donate. 

The Victorian requirements for cross-border communities are available here.