INFORMATIONAL ALERT: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Eye Tissue Donation

March 18, 2020

Dear Doctors, Surgery Schedulers, and Healthcare Providers,

Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research (LEITR) is closely monitoring developments associated with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), both locally and worldwide. Our donor services and quality assurance teams are actively following and strictly enforcing the donor screening recommendations for donor tissue safety provided by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) and American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), consistent with the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Tissue safety and availability

LEITR’s implementation of additional screening measures, related to COVID-19, include identifying clinical signs of infection and epidemiological risk of all potential donors. Careful review of symptoms, travel, and exposure to high risk individuals or areas automatically rule-out tissue and eye recovery. Our teams conduct daily assessments and review the most up-to-date protocols defined by EBAA, AATB, and CDC. LEITR also contracts and consults routinely with an infectious disease control expert about potential concerns associated with infectious disease.

LEITR’s staff has also been kept up to date on CDC recommendations associated with mitigating risks of contracting COVID-19 virus. Employees have been directed to stay home if they are exhibiting any signs of illness. Within LEITR’s tissue processing facility, tissue is always prepared in a Class 100 clean room environment while technicians are in full personal protection equipment.

LEITR’s cornea tissue supply has not been affected. Quality tissue, that has been appropriately screened, is available for your cornea transplant cases.

LEITR 24/7

All LEITR’s services are fully operational. Active assessments of the situation are on-going to ensure the safety of our team, you, your team, and your patients. In addition to our Donor Services, Recovery, and Quality Assurance teams, our Customer Service and Processing Technicians are available 24/7 to respond to your corneal tissue requests.

Contact Us 24/7

Main: 813.289.1200


We will continue to send updates as changes occur. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.


Jason Woody


Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research