As it struggles to emerge from coronavirus lockdown, the province faces a new challenge. We're running low on blood donations in Quebec. That's because when most residents were under stay-at-home orders in March, the number of daily blood donations dropped by about 25 percent, prompting Premier François Legault to ask Quebecers to give more.\n"Several people are writing to me to ask what they can do. Well, I tell them, 'Go out and give blood,'" he said during one of his daily COVID-19 updates.\nAfter the appeal, the blood supply rebounded dramatically, but now Héma-Québec is saying it needs an additional 100 donations per day, on top of the 1,000 donations it normally requires.\nThe organization is making the appeal in an effort to keep the province’s blood supply at an acceptable level, "As activities gradually resume in Quebec and the demand for blood products in the province's hospitals increases," said Héma-Québec in a statement.\nThe organization is taking extra precautions to ensure safety during the pandemic. All potential donors must book an appointment by calling 1 (800) 343-7264 (SANG) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.\nIn addition, its workers are putting up plastic sheeting at collection sites, disinfecting all surfaces and reorganizing blood drive sites to ensure everyone stays two-metres apart.\nA technician will take your temperature and give you a surgical mask for the time spent at the collection site when physical distancing measures cannot be maintained.\nView this post on Instagram Comme tout le monde, nous avons dû nous adapter dans les dernières semaines et toutes nos collectes se font maintenant sur rendez-vous. Nous vous invitons à visiter notre site pour trouver la collecte la plus près de chez vous et planifier votre prochain don… parce que nous avons TOUJOURS besoin de vous! ☎️ 1 800 343 7264 💻 email@example.com 🖱 voir le lien dans notre bio /// Like everyone else, we had to adapt in the past few weeks and all of our blood drives are now by appointment only. We invite you to visit our website to find the nearest blood drive and plan your next donation… because we ALWAYS need you! ☎️ 1 800 343 7264 💻 firstname.lastname@example.org 🖱 see link in our bio A post shared by Héma-Québec (@hemaquebec) on May 19, 2020 at 2:15pm PDT\nA list of upcoming blood drives in the province has been posted to Héma-Québec's website.\nHowever, giving blood is not as simple as rolling up your sleeve and offering a vein.\nThere are restrictions.\nPerhaps most notably is the one that bans gay men from giving blood, still, to this day, in 2020.\nSince 1992, Health Canada has barred gay men from donating after thousands of people were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through tainted blood products.\nThe outright ban has been replaced with a policy that allows gay men to donate, provided they abstain from sex for three months.\nOne local man is sharing his story after he tried to donate plasma but was rejected because of the ban.\nView this post on Instagram Change the Blood Donation Policy for Men Who Sleep with Men! Sign the petition! Here’s what it says, link in bio up there! Share! . Hema-Québec is refusing post-COVID plasma donations from all men who have had homosexual sex in the past three months. This rule is set by Health Canada, and seems to be labelling all homosexual intimacy as dangerous, whether or not it is in a monogamous relationship, practicing protected sex, or both. This prejudice is denying possibly life-saving treatment for a disease for which no treatment exists. Italy excludes all donors who recently practiced unprotected sex, with no gender limitation. We propose that Health Canada and Héma-Québec adopt a similar policy. A post shared by Adam Capriolo (@adamcapriolo) on May 13, 2020 at 2:06pm PDT\nIn a widely-circulated Instagram post, Montrealer Adam Capriolo said he signed up to participate in a study by Héma-Québec after recovering from COVID-19 but was "immediately disqualified in [the] interview when it came up that [he had] had 'homosexual encounters.'"\nHe has since started a petition to end the policy.