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COVID-19 updates: July 2, 2020

COVID-19 updates: July 2, 2020

Emergency actions help members protect patient safety and access to transplant during COVID-19

View key findings about operational actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The actions were collectively intended to help members document the effects of COVID-19 on organ donation and transplantation, and to help members focus resources on essential clinical services in the short term.

Policy keeps patients safe, protects medical urgency status

Waitlist candidates benefited from an emergency COVID-19 policy allowing programs to carry forward previous test results.

Summer 2020 regional meetings to be virtual

The health and safety of our meeting attendees is our top priority. After reviewing all available information, we have decided to host all summer 2020 regional meetings virtually. Meetings begin in August, and information on each region’s agenda and links to meeting materials will be made available soon on the OPTN regional meeting page.


Emergency policy actions available for retrospective public comment Aug. 4 – Oct. 1

In March and April, the OPTN Executive Committee approved several emergency actions related to COVID-19. These actions temporarily changed some OPTN policy requirements for candidate data reporting and kidney candidate waiting time accrual. Read more about these actions.

In addition, data collection was approved and implemented to provide OPOs the ability to report COVID-19 testing status and results. These emergency actions will be available for public comment during the next cycle: Aug. 4 – Oct. 1, 2020. We ask that the transplant community provide feedback during public comment on these emergency actions. All public comment proposals will be available here.

COVID-related policy and operational questions

For COVID-related policy and operational inquires, members can contact member questions at [email protected]


  • COVID-19 pandemic ignites collaboration in the transplant community. UNOS collaborated with eight global transplant organizations and societies on four COVID-19 organ donation and transplant town hall webinars that have received more than 25,000 views.
  • COVID-19: What have we learned to prepare for the next wave? During the third collaborative multi-society town hall webinar on COVID-19, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Fernanda P. Silveira, M.D., discussed potential risks associated with PCR positive and PCR negative donors and said gathering more data will be crucial as the pandemic continues.
  • Data visualizations on transplants and deceased donors recovered updated daily. The waitlist snapshot is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Transplants by week and deceased donors recovered by week are updated every Monday. Learn more here.
  • Answers to patient questions on COVID-19. Navigating the coronavirus pandemic is difficult for everyone, but brings special challenges for transplant patients. UNOS Chief Medical Officer David Klassen, M.D., answers questions for patients about COVID-19 and the waitlist, 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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