As we move from spring to summer and parts of the country begin their phased reopening, I wanted to update you on the status of academic and clinical research in FA. Throughout the time of closures due to COVID-19, we have remained in touch with FARA funded academic and clinical researchers to understand their challenges and offer support.
Currently, both academic and clinical researchers are starting to come back online with social distancing measures in place. For many academic researchers, this means lab activities beginning to resume but not at full capacity. We anticipate that many lab teams will be working in staggered schedules to reduce the number of staff in a space at any one time.
Additionally, our Collaborative Clinical Research Network (CCRN) sites are beginning to see patients in person again for both clinical and research visits. This will be at reduced volume and with new practices and procedures in place to protect staff and patients. We encourage you to contact your site to learn how best to proceed. Whether you are involved in ongoing research or would like to consider participating in a new study, your coordinator can discuss options for in-person versus telemedicine visits. For studies that require in-person visits, some topics you may wish to discuss are:
- What are the onsite measures in place to keep staff and patients safe during in-person visits?
- Can I wear my own personal protective equipmet (PPE) or will the study provide this?
- Will I need to be tested for Covid-19 prior to a visit? If so, how will that be arranged?
- Are there any location changes to where the study is being conducted?