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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 13, 2020

No, blood donors don’t automatically get a coronavirus test

If Your Time is short

  • Blood donors don’t get a coronavirus test if they donate blood. 
  • The American Red Cross is asking for donations in anticipation of a blood shortage caused by the coronavirus.

"CORONAVIRUS LOOPHOLE!!!!" screams a screenshot of a tweet being shared on social media. "If you don’t have insurance and can’t afford to take the $3,200 test for the virus ($1,000 with insurance), DONATE BLOOD. They HAVE to test you for the virus in order to donate blood. Tell your friends! Tell your family!!!!!"

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

We’ve already looked into claims that coronavirus testing costs $3,200. You can read more about it here but we rated them Mostly False. This claim, that blood donation centers have to test donors for coronavirus, won’t fare as well. 

The American Red Cross, which runs blood drives around the country, told PolitiFact that this isn’t true. 

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"There is no test to screen blood donations for the coronavirus and other respiratory viruses," the organization said in an email. "It’s important to emphasize that there are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusions and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus."

But the Red Cross is urging healthy, eligible Americans to donate blood to help avoid potential shortages caused by the coronavirus. It’s also asking people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or come into contact with a person who has or is suspected to have the disease to postpone making a donation for 28 days.

Kate Fry, chief executive officer of America’s Blood Centers, told the Associated Press that the network of nonprofit blood centers "do a whole range of testing on blood donations as required by the FDA, but screening or testing is not happening."

The account that tweeted the information in the Facebook post has since deleted it, writing: "I don’t want to contribute to hysteria or medical misinformation." But the screenshot lives on. So tell your friends! Tell your family!!!!! We rate this Facebook post False.

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No, blood donors don’t automatically get a coronavirus test

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