MONTREAL -- Hema-Quebec is suspending the collection of cord blood donations in partner hospital centres indefinitely as well as new donor registrations for stem cells and breast milk, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have enough blood units and milk supply for neonatal intensive care units for the coming months,” Hema-Quebec Director of Public Relations Laurent Paul Menard told CTV News. “Putting new registrations on hold means that we’ll be in a ‘catching up’ phase a year from now.”

Mothers who are already registered in the breast milk donation program can continue sending milk to Hema-Quebec.

“Because the milk is pasteurized, if a mother gets COVID-19, it won’t be a safety issue,” said Menard.

The organization is continuing to accept whole blood donations.

“There is a triage prior to entering the blood clinics,” said Menard. “We’ve added measures to our regular protocol to make sure that someone who wishes to give blood will do so in the safest manner while taking into consideration the current pandemic.”

Hema-Quebec manages the only Public Cord Bank in Quebec.