CABI Operational Updates

COINS Access Required for Scanning

August 27th 2020: Update

Goal

To protect MRI research participants, research study personnel, and staff from exposure and transmission of COVID-19 after resumption of MRI-specific human subject research at CABI.

Information for Research Teams

Please note that, as per GT guidance On-campus human subjects research involving children, adults over 65, and other vulnerable populations is prohibited at this time. Vulnerable populations relating to COVID-19 are as defined by the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html

Prior to the MRI session:

  • The study team must familiarize itself with COVID-19 prevention guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html)
  • The study team is required to learn how to correctly wear and dispose of gloves and single-use masks before the scan day. Sample tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49gKSsPCIG8
  • At the time of subject recruitment (over the phone), pre-screening procedures will now include a COVID-19 related information sheet (COVID information) and a questionnaire (COVID Phone screener Day1) in addition to standard MRI and study related screening procedures. These will have to be done prior to MRI scheduling.
  • The study team must encourage the participant to arrive alone for their appointment. If the participant will need a caregiver, the study team will need to pre-screen the caregiver and inform CABI staff in advance.
  • MRI reservations will only be approved after pre-screening results are provided to designated CABI staff.
  • Only MRI related scheduling will be allowed during initial re-opening phase (i.e. you may schedule a consultation room, mock-scanner room etc only if you have scheduled an MRI scan).
  • When scheduling, please keep in mind that a one-hour gap will be enforced between all scans. This is to allow time for post-scan cleaning and sufficient air exchange to occur in the MRI and control room, and to minimize the number of people in the waiting area.
  • One day prior to the scan, pre-screen again using (COVID Phone screener Day2) over the phone. If their status has changed from previous screening, please inform CABI staff and cancel next day’s scan. If their status is the same, ask the subject to phone-in any change of status on the day of the scan. Remind them to arrive alone if possible. If they have requested to bring a caregiver, remind them that the caregiver should bring her/his own mask.

On the day of the MRI session:

  • Only the main CABI entrance can be used for entry and exit for MRI scans.
  • Only one research study team personnel will be allowed to accompany the participant (and any caregiver).
  • Hand sanitizing procedures should be strictly followed when arriving/departing the center and as needed while in the center building. There are sanitizer stations at the entrance and other locations within CABI.
  • Research study personnel, participants and any caregivers will be required to complete a COVID-19 screening, including a questionnaire, forehead temperature, and finger pulse oximeter check, before entering the building (see attached).
  • Designated CABI staff will complete screening at the door upon arrival. CABI staff will be using appropriate PPE (i.e. surgical mask, face shield, clean gloves) and will sanitize equipment and change gloves between each screening.
  • Upon arrival and prior to screening, research study personnel, participant and any caregiver should be wearing a mask and should sanitize their hands. Mask will be provided only to the participant. They will be asked to remove and dispose the mask safely upon leaving the center. Research study teams are requested to arrange for their own PPE equipment such as surgical masks and disposable gloves. As mentioned above, CABI staff will be wearing appropriate PPE such as surgical masks, protective face shields and disposable gloves during all close interactions with research participants.
  • Any individual who answers ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions, has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, or has an oxygen saturation below 90% will be denied further participation on that day and encouraged to consult a physician regarding their symptoms (standard guidance pre-printed).
  • All personnel will be required to maintain proper social distancing protocols at all times while at CABI. CABI staff will post COVID-19 transmission prevention and personal protection signage at the entrance and within CABI areas.
  • After pre-screening, the participant and study team member will be required to wear a mask while in the building, including during the scan session. Study team members that have direct contact with participants are encouraged to wear disposable gloves until the MRI study is over.
  • Participant will not be required to wear mask while actively in the scanner. They be allowed to remove mask immediately before the head coil is placed for scan and must replace the mask directly after the scan, once coil is removed.

PPE use for MR Technologist

  • The MR technologist will be required to wear full PPE (surgical mask, gloves, face shield) whenever interacting with subject in scanner room.
  • Face shield will remain inside the scanner room and should be sanitized between subjects.
  • Fresh pair of gloves will be put on immediately before entering the scanner room before subject setup and will be disposed of after removing face shield but before exiting the scanner room.
  • MR tech will wear a surgical mask at all times during the scan session.
  • MR tech will minimize contact with the subject as much as possible for subject’s and personal safety. Verbal instructions will be used as much as possible to guide the correct subject positioning on the MRI table.
  • Social distancing measures, including limiting conversation, will be maintained between MR tech and research personnel during scan sessions.

Post-scan cleaning

  • The MRI tech conducting the scan will be responsible for disinfecting all patient comfort padding, MRI table, inner/outer surface of the MRI coil used, surface of the patient alarm device, surface of response devices used (e.g., button box), subject headphones, physiological signal recording equipment used, scanner control room countertop, MRI compatible eye wear, control room PC keyboards and mouse, handles of the participant lockers, door handles for magnet room, control room, MRI hallway restroom, mock-scanner room if used. Caviwipes or other suitable disinfectants will be used. Alcohol sanitizer will be used regularly after post-scan cleaning.
  • A post-scan cleanup checklist (Appendix 3) will be completed by the MR tech and attached to scan session forms.

Information regarding general CABI access

  • When we re-open, access to CABI will be restricted only via the main entrance. Note: Students will still have access to their labs in School of Psychology suite via the side entrance but not to CABI areas.
  • Anyone entering CABI is required to wear a mask and maintain distancing in all common areas inside CABI.
  • During the initial re-opening phase, access to all common CABI areas such as kitchen, computer lab, conference room and CABI printer room will be limited to CABI staff only. We will gradually open up these areas in the weeks following re-opening or when deemed safe to do so.
  • Access to MRI suite hallway areas will be limited to CABI staff only.

CABI scheduling policies

  • Only MRI related scheduling will be allowed at this time. Resources such as consultation room and mock-scanner may only be scheduled on the day of MRI scan.
  • All researchers may request a maximum of 3 hours per study, per week. However, there is no limit on the number of hours one study may request and be approved for 3 days prior to the scan time being requested.
  • You may only request times after you have identified participants for the specific time period you are requesting. Participants must be registered in COINS, with a unique research subject identifier (URSI), prior to scheduling.
  • Scheduling requests are permitted up to 2-months in advance. Exceptions may be made for special studies/populations, contingent on MRI availability.
  • Prior to scheduling, all participants should be provided with the CABI COVID-19 information sheet and pre-screened for COVID-19 symptoms (using the questionnaire), in addition to regular MR screening procedure. Reservations will be approved after pre-screening results have been emailed to CABI staff at cabi-support@gatech.edu. Participants should be pre-screened again 24 hours prior to date of scan.
  • A one-hour gap will be enforced between all scans to allow time for post-scan cleaning and sufficient air exchange in MRI room and scanner suite. Please consider this when scheduling in order to reduce traffic in the building.
  • A no-charge cancellation policy for MRI will be in effect for COVID-19 related causes. Researchers are requested to inform CABI staff as soon as possible if a scan must be cancelled.