Regarding the COVID-19 part of your question, as of right now, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network does not recommend transplantation of organs from donors known to have the virus. If you were to contract the coronavirus and die, your organs would probably not be used. This may change as treatments are developed.
In the United States alone, more than 112,000 people are on the waiting list for organ transplants. Because demand is so much greater than supply, those on the list routinely wait three to seven years for an organ, and more than 7,000 of them die each year.
Organs that can be donated include the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, pancreas and intestines. Tissue is also needed to replace bone, tendons and ligaments. Corneas are needed to restore sight. Skin grafts help burn patients heal and often mean the difference between life and death. Heart valves repair cardiac defects and damage.
By donating your organs after you die, you can save or improve as many as 50 lives. The United Network for Organ Sharing maintains the OPTN, a national computer registry that matches donors to waiting recipients.
Being an organ donor does not in any way compromise the medical care you would receive in a hospital if you are sick or injured, nor does it interfere with having an open-casket funeral if you want that option. Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.
If you would like to become a donor, there are several steps you should take to ensure your wishes are carried out, including: