The Community Blood Center announced Friday the implementation of revised blood donor qualifications released by the U.S. Food and Drug and Administration.

The FDA changed certain qualifications for blood donations related to Mad Cow Disease and malaria-risk travel in April of 2020 to help ensure a reliable blood supply amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The FDA also expanded eligibility for prospective donors, including men who have had sexual contact with other men as well as other changes associated with HIV risk.

"The FDA was prepared to change some of these recommendations anyway, but the coronavirus pandemic just expedited it a little bit," said Kristine Belanger, Chief Operations Officer at Community Blood Center. "Pretty much every single one of these changes has been something that people have expressed concern over the prior practice and are very excited that there have been changes made."