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COVID-19 updates: May 20, 2020

COVID-19 updates: May 20, 2020

New donor data collection test type for COVID-19 testing and results added to DonorNet®

On May 15, a new test type was added and an existing test type was updated in DonorNet® to capture information regarding donor COVID-19 antigen and antibody testing. OPOs can record whether antigen or antibody testing was performed on the donor, in addition to nucleic acid detection testing. Learn more here.

OPTN COVID Collaborative kicks off with its first webinar

The Collaborative’s first webinar, “Telemedicine, transplant, and COVID-19: One transplant center’s experience,” featured Pooja Singh, M.D., who offered her perspectives on the potential benefits and challenges involved with telemedicine — an approach to care delivery that, given COVID-19, has become increasingly important. Find the full recording of Singh’s webinar in the resources section on the OPTN COVID Collaborative site.

In a recent interview, Singh offered additional thoughts on the OPTN COVID Collaborative, the effective practices she was driven to share, and what transplant topics she would like to hear about from other members during this time.

What’s happening in the OPTN COVID Collaborative this week?

  • An OPO CEO is planning for the eventual resumption of non-essential operations and wants feedback on what strategies are being considered by others in the field. How is your organization going to approach masking, antibody testing of staff and social distancing in the office?
  • A transplant manager is asking for input about workflows related to how nursing staff and medical assistants support telemedicine platforms. Do you have insights into telemedicine workflows and processes?
  • A quality and regulatory compliance manager at a large transplant hospital is wanting to know if others have developed protocols related to candidates reporting exposure to COVID-positive individuals when being called into transplant. Does your program have processes in place that address this?

Collaborate and join the conversation.*

*Effective July 10, 2020, the OPTN COVID Collaborative inactivated. Read the details.


OPTN Board of Directors June 8 meeting now virtual

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OPTN Board of Directors will now convene virtually on June 8, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 6 p.m. EDT. The agenda and public access information will be posted to the OPTN events page.

AST recommendations and guidance for organ donor testing

In response to inquiries regarding COVID-19, the American Society of Transplantation’s Infectious Disease Community of Practice has developed recommendations regarding organ donor testing. This guidance reflects the current state of knowledge and involves questions pertaining to screening and testing of living and deceased donors in the COVID-19 era. Specifically, the guidance document provides recommendations on:

  • Assessing exposure through epidemiological, clinical and laboratory screening of potential donors
  • Mitigating risk of transmission of COVID-19 from deceased donors through testing and screening
  • Preliminary living donor strategies to lower the risk of COVID-19 donor-derived infection and prevent harm to the donor

This document is subject to change as more information becomes available.


  • Data visualizations on transplants and deceased donors recovered are updated daily; the waitlist snapshot is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and transplants by week and deceased donors recovered by week are updated every Monday.
  • UNOS Chief Medical Officer David Klassen, M.D., answers questions for patients about COVID-19 and the waiting list, inactivation, donor testing and other important topics.

Stay current

We will continue to update the UNOS COVID-19 resources page as guidance is developed and enhanced.

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