By Kathy McGrath

It is completely safe to donate blood during the COVID-19 epidemic, confirms Jennifer Mathieu, Scarborough’s territory manager for Canadian Blood Services (CBS). She said that CBS has introduced additional sanitation measures to augment its extensive current practices.

Donation centres have also set up wellness stations to conduct enhanced health and lifestyle screening.  Of course, CBS is also adhering to social distancing measures outlined by the Ministry of Health. Jennifer also wants to assure residents that scientific evidence shows COVID-19 is not transmitted through blood products.

While current news is focused on the virus, Jennifer says the need for blood donations is constant. “Every 60 seconds someone in Canada needs blood,” she said. “This includes accident victims, people undergoing cancer treatment, mothers who have complications from childbirth and those who need emergency surgeries.”

Many people don’t realize that blood has a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets, found in the blood, can only be kept for seven days.

Centennial’s local blood donation centre is St. Dunstan of Canterbury Church at 56 Lawson Road, where clinics are held eight times a year. The next one will be held on May 16.

Clinics held in churches are particularly important right now because the ones located in community centres are currently closed, Jennifer said. “We are very fortunate to have open clinics in churches right now.”

Residents can make an appointment to donate three ways: online at, through the GiveBlood app or by calling 1-866-236-6283.