COVID-19 Guidance for Researchers: Clinical Settings
This page contains information about research operations during the University of Calgary's COVID-19 response.
Last updated: September 8, 2020
- When research staff are in AHS space, all AHS policies and procedures must be followed including infection prevention and control practices and workplace health and safety rules. Please see the latest guidance from AHS on research in AHS facilities.
- For information on initiating or resuming a study in AHS, please visit the AHS Health System Access webpage at https://extranet.ahsnet.ca/teams/AHSRA/SitePages/Home.aspx
- The Expanded Research Designation process concluded on September 1, 2020. All individuals returning to campus must have a Workspace Safety Plan. Read the August 31 email for more details.
- Monitoring visits: Now that the ERD process has been discontinued and normal access to UC buildings has resumed, study monitoring visits are now permitted in UC facilities. Monitors are required to follow all UC policies, including the use of face coverings.
- The CFREB and CHREB advise investigators to consider if their research protocols could be modified or delayed, to limit personal contacts, laboratory visits or trips into clinics and hospitals. Specifically, in some research settings in-person participant interactions could be reduced and/or replaced with telephone or online communication.
- The Heritage Medical Research (HMRC) is open but with a reduced capacity. Operation of the HMRC facility is following AHS guidance.
- Consider checking with Study Sponsors regarding their expectations, including how protocol violations should be handled and any special reporting requirements.
- Biosafety Committee authorization is required prior to performing research with the virus causing COVID-19 (including accepting patient samples). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be aware of current guidelines from AHS on how to protect others and yourself.
- Be prepared for the possibility of core facilities and other fee-for-service resources becoming unavailable.
- Be prepared for delays in supply chain, including shortage of Personal Protective Equipment.
- Be prepared for delays in services provided by vendors.
- If you returned from travel abroad after March 12, be aware that a 14-day self-isolation period is required upon your return. Check Alberta’s current isolation requirements.
- Please continue to work from home whenever possible and limit your presence in research facilities and in the workspaces on campus.
- Maintain a 2-meter separation between active work areas.
- Any in-person group activities including thesis defenses, mentorship committee meetings, seminars, journal clubs, laboratory meetings and hiring interviews should be canceled or held as virtual meetings by telephone, Skype, Zoom or similar. UCalgary now has an institutional license for Zoom.
- Although there are currently no plans to close the university, this could change in the future with very little or no notice. Further, individual COVID-19 cases could lead to closure of University buildings with no notice at all. Therefore, please take measures to ensure that your unit is prepared for the possibility of a closure at the end of each day.
- Visit the ‘Working and Learning from Home’ website for information about ensuring you are set up to be productive from home.
- Think carefully before initiating new experiments: consider the time required to complete them as well as the cost and inconvenience if they were interrupted before completion.
- Unit leaders should consider communicating with each other about opportunities to mitigate the impact of illness or self-isolation, such as by sharing staff between units.