The COVID-19 pandemic has posed numerous challenges on a global scale. It has undoubtedly impacted our clinical research efforts here at UCSF and all other academic institutions. Both domestically and abroad, many research visits were postponed, suspended or continue to be conducted through online video sessions. Fortunately, we are now at a point where iMSMS can resume clinical research visits while proceeding with supreme caution. For those looking to participate in iMSMS, your health and safety comes first. While every iMSMS site’s situation varies, we at UCSF are currently phasing in gradual onsite research activity, while also ensuring that population density is kept to a minimum. Our research protocol has been modified such that components of the study—namely consenting, questionnaire completion and some aspects of cognitive testing will be done remotely to ensure patient safety and comfortability. All patient visits that are conducted in the Neurosciences Clinical Research Unit will require staff members and research participants adhere to wearing face masks, physical distancing of at least 6 feet apart whenever possible, and hand sanitizing. Additionally, all onsite staff members are required to complete daily health screenings. Prospective iMSMS participants will be assessed for COVID-19 symptoms (see below) prior to as well as the day of their scheduled visit and responses will be documented. Should the participant respond affirmatively to any of the questions below, the research visit will be postponed and the participant should consult with their medical provider.
- In the past 30 days, have you or someone you live with been diagnosed with COVID-19? [YES / NO]
- In the past 14 days, have you had unprotected close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19? (close contact = within 6ft for 15 minutes or longer (unprotected = without face covering) [YES / NO]
- In the past 14 days, have you had any of these symptoms not explained by a pre-existing condition (e.g. allergies)
- Fever, Chills, Shivering/Shakes ((T>37.8oC/100oF) [YES / NO]
- Cough [YES / NO]
- Sore Throat [YES / NO]
- Runny or congested nose [YES / NO]
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath [YES / NO]
- Unexplained muscle aches [YES / NO]
- Feeling unusually weak or fatigued [YES / NO]
- Loss of sense of smell or taste [YES / NO]
- Diarrhea (defined as >3 loose stools in 24 hours) [YES / NO]
- Eye redness with or without discharge (“pink eye”) [YES / NO]
Administering these guidelines ensure that we are all doing our part in making public healthy a top priority.