COVID-19 action protocols

Risk Reduction in EEG Research

 

Introduction

 

EEG recording provides the opportunity to non-invasively measure brain activation related to cognitive, emotional and social processes. EEG recording generally requires very close contact between the participant and the experimenter, and therefore poses risks of covid-19 transmission. Nevertheless, it is necessary to resume the research, for which this protocol serves as a guide. It is desirable that the informed consent describes to participants that appropriate measures have been taken to limit the risk of covid-19 transmission. It is also important to remember that national, regional and UGR guidelines will be followed at all times, which can be summarized as the use of PPE (except when the situation requires it, e.g., young children), personal distance, and hand and surface hygiene.

 

    Assumptions

       

The recording of EEG should always be carried out under the auspices of the University's ethics committee and the University's risk prevention service.

Any consideration by the CEIH or the prevention service takes precedence over this protocol.

Research must not be resumed as long as personal protective equipment and disinfectant are not available to the staff conducting the research.

 Participants must not be coerced to participate in an investigation and laboratory staff must not be forced to carry out an investigation.

 The idea is not to reduce risks to zero, but to make them equivalent to infection outside the laboratory.

 Any assessment procedure must be conducted in a manner that preserves confidentiality.

Knowledge of covid-19 evolves over time, so this protocol will need to be updated at a later date.

 

Key elements.

 

        The key element is to reduce the possibility of the virus being airborne, and to eliminate it from surfaces.

        Research should be conducted in a way that minimizes contact between researcher and participant (e.g., by preparing electrodes in advance) and by reducing the time it takes to apply the electrodes to the participant.

        Anyone suspected of having covid-19 or having been in contact with covid-19 patients should be excluded from the research.

        Wear PPE during the entire duration of the examination.

        Disinfect any items touched by the participant or researcher.

        The electrode application process should be performed in a different room from the recording room.

 

Equipment

 

    Application of electrodes

        Nitrile gloves (recommended, but not required)

        Mask for participant and researcher

        Laboratory coats

        Face protection, for high-risk groups, it is also advisable to have goggles for the subject during the process of applying the electrodes.

        Hand disinfectant (hydroalcoholic gel).

   

Preparation of the participant. To minimize contact, apply the electrodes in a different room from the recording room. During recording, if possible, the participant should be in one room and the researcher in another. If this is not possible, keep a safe distance of 1.5 meters. Care should be taken to ensure proper ventilation of the rooms.

Cleanliness. Use isopropyl alcohol wipes (>70%) and alcohol solutions (>70%). Any other disinfectant approved for use with covid-19 may be used.

Surfaces. Any surface touched by the participant or investigator should be sanitized after use, especially response keypads, door handles, etc. Since cleaning keyboards is complicated, it is recommended that they be covered with plastic to facilitate subsequent sanitization. If this is not possible, clean them with alcohol wipes (>70%).

Personnel at risk. For any person >=65 years of age, it should be verified that the above-mentioned persons have been vaccinated with COVID more than 15 days before at least the first dose, so that they can have generated an adequate level of immunity.

Staff density. Avoid having more than two investigators in the laboratory.

Telephone or other means of contact. A telephone and/or e-mail for each participant should be stored to facilitate subsequent contact in case of follow-up.

Notifications. Any participant who develops covid-19 up to 14 days after passing through the laboratory should contact the researcher in charge of the research so that follow-up can take place.

Increase the temporal distance between participants to allow time for disinfection of equipment and to ensure that two or more participants do not accumulate in the laboratory at the same time.

Post-registration head washing can still be done, assuming that the room where it is done is sanitized afterwards.

 

Before the participant arrives at the laboratory

 

Use online forms for informed consent and any other forms that the participant must complete. If this is not possible, the participant should complete the forms in a room with forced ventilation and keeping a safe distance.

The participant can be informed of how to measure head circumference to facilitate prior selection of the electrode cap and its fitting.

Advise the participant of any actions that you consider necessary for the successful completion of the recording protocol.

Have everything ready so that when the participant arrives, the scanning process can begin quickly (this is necessary to minimize the time spent in the laboratory).

When the participant arrives, he/she should wear a mask. If not, a mask will be provided and the participant's hands will be washed with disinfectant.

 

Application of electrodes

 

We usually have the participant comb their head vigorously to reduce impedance. This procedure should be done by each participant at home. To reduce the application time of the electrodes:

 

Reduce their number (e.g., remove eye electrodes).

Increase the impedance levels at which the recording is made (this has the disadvantage of increased noise, but is an option).

Use Envirocide (a disinfectant for viruses and bacteria, recommended for acticap, but also for other helmets) to disinfect electrodes by soaking them in the solution for 3 minutes.

Discard syringes, and other material used in the placement of the electrodes when finished.

 

General considerations

 

Wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer before and after each participant.

Always wear a face mask, as should the participant.

You should try to keep a safe distance, except when registration reasons prevent you from doing so.

The mask should not produce artefacts.

 Sanitize all surfaces after each participant.

 As soon as the acquisition protocol is completed, the participant must leave the laboratory.

The mask should be discarded each day when the investigator leaves the laboratory.

 

Risk Reduction in Behavioral Research

 

 

Introduction

 

Behavioral research conducted at CIMCYC, involving cognitive, emotional and social processes, generally requires very close contact between the participant and the experimenter, and therefore poses risks of covid-19 transmission. It is desirable that informed consent describes to participants that appropriate measures have been taken to limit the risk of covid-19 transmission.

 

 Assumptions

 

Behavioral research should always be conducted under the auspices of the University's ethics committee and the University's risk prevention service.

Any consideration by the CEIH or the prevention service takes precedence over this protocol.

Research must not be resumed until personal protective equipment and disinfectant are available to the staff conducting the research.

Participants must not be coerced to participate in an investigation and laboratory staff must not be forced to conduct an investigation.

The idea is not to reduce risks to zero, but to make them equivalent to being infected outside the laboratory.

 Any assessment procedure must be conducted in a manner that preserves confidentiality.

Knowledge of covid-19 evolves over time, so this protocol will need to be updated at a later date.

   

Key elements

 

        The key element is to reduce the possibility of the virus being airborne, and to eliminate it from surfaces.

        Research should be conducted in a way that minimizes researcher-participant contact (e.g., by preparing the necessary materials in advance) and by reducing the time it takes to conduct the experiment.

        Anyone suspected of having covid-19 or having been in contact with covid-19 patients should be excluded from the research.

        Any participant who develops covid-19 within 14 days of their stay in the laboratory should notify the responsible investigator so that the follow-up process can be initiated.

        Wear PPE for the entire duration of the examination.

        Disinfect any item touched by the participant or the investigator.

 

Equipment

 

    Application of the protocol

      

 Nitrile gloves

        Mask for participant and researcher

        Laboratory coats

        Face protection, for high-risk groups.

        Hand disinfectant (hydroalcoholic gel).

    Cleanliness. Use isopropyl alcohol wipes (>70%) and alcohol solutions (>70%). Any other disinfectant approved for use with covid-19 may be used.

    Surfaces. Any surface touched by the participant or investigator should be sanitized after use, especially response keypads, door handles, etc. Since cleaning keyboards is complicated, it is recommended that they be covered with plastic to facilitate subsequent sanitization. If this is not possible, clean them with alcohol wipes (>70%).

   

Personnel at risk. For any person >=65 years of age, it should be verified that the above-mentioned persons have been vaccinated with COVID more than 15 days before at least the first dose, so that they can have generated an adequate level of immunity.

   

Staff density. Avoid having more than two investigators in the laboratory.

  

 Telephone or other means of contact. A telephone and/or e-mail for each participant should be stored to facilitate subsequent contact in case of follow-up.

   

Notifications. Any participant who develops covid-19 up to 14 days after passing through the laboratory should contact the researcher in charge of the research so that follow-up can take place.

   

Increase the temporal distance between participants to allow time for disinfection of the material and to ensure that two or more participants do not accumulate in the laboratory at the same time.

 

Before the participant arrives at the laboratory

 

 Use online forms for informed consent and any other forms that the participant must complete. If this is not possible, the participant should complete the forms in a room with forced ventilation and a safe distance.

 Advise the participant of any measures you consider necessary to complete the registration protocol properly.

 Have everything ready so that when the participant arrives, the scanning process can begin quickly (this is necessary to minimize the time spent in the laboratory).

 When the participant arrives, he/she should wear a mask. If not, a mask will be provided and the participant's hands will be washed with disinfectant.

 

General considerations

 

    Wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer before and after each participant.

    Always wear a mask, as should the participant.

    Try to maintain a safe distance, except when registration does not allow it.

    Sanitize all surfaces after each participant. Take special care with objects handled by the participant (e.g. toys).

    As soon as the acquisition protocol is completed, the participant must leave the laboratory.

    The mask should be discarded each day when the researcher leaves the laboratory.

 

Hygiene in the TMS Lab

 

Experimental sessions must always be carried out under the auspices of the Ethics Committee in Human Research of the UGR (CEIH) and the risk prevention service of the same. Any consideration by the CEIH or the risk prevention service takes precedence over this protocol.

 

Maximum of 2 researchers present simultaneously in the room where the TMS and the robot are located. Whenever possible, it is recommended that only one investigator be present.

 

The safety questionnaire, which will be carried out prior to the face-to-face appointment at the TMS Lab, will include questions regarding the presence of COVID-19 symptoms in the last 2 weeks and will confirm to participants that appropriate measures have been taken to limit the risk of covid-19 transmission in the conduct of the experiment. In the presence of compatible symptoms, the person will not be allowed to participate in the experiment.

 

The temperature of the participants will be taken before entering the laboratory. If the temperature exceeds 37°C, the participant will not be allowed to participate in the experiment.

Researchers will also take their temperature at home or upon arrival at the lab, and will not be allowed to stay in the lab if the temperature exceeds 37°C.

 Both participants and researchers must wear masks during the entire session. If a participant cannot wear a mask for health reasons, he/she will not be allowed to participate in the experiment.

    Both the researcher and the participant must wash their hands with soap and water in the toilets located next to the laboratory before the experimental session.

    Use of hydro-alcoholic gel or alcohol to sanitize hands before starting each task (gel will be available in each room we use) of the experimental session with the participant.

    Researchers will wash their hands or use hydro-alcoholic gel or alcohol after putting on the helmet, performing the participant's calibration and after holding the coil manually.

    The equipment shall be washed after each participant:

    Apparatus: disinfection with chlorinated water solution.

    Cap: to be placed in the used clothing collector and washed at a temperature of 60º.

    Disinfection of surfaces (tables, chairs, and any other object that may be touched by participants or researchers) with chlorinated water solution after each participant.

    The keyboard and microphone will be wrapped in cling film to facilitate cleaning.

    After each participant, the room will be ventilated for 15 minutes. To improve the ventilation of the room, a fan pointed towards the door shall be turned on after each experimental session.

    A telephone number and/or e-mail address of each participant should be stored to facilitate subsequent contact in case of follow-up.

    Any participant who develops covid-19 up to 15 days after the laboratory visit should contact the person in charge of the research so that follow-up can take place. If participants have not contacted before, researchers will contact participants 15 days later for follow-up.

 

Hygiene in the NCD Lab

 

    Maximum of 2 researchers present simultaneously in the laboratory.

    Minors accompanied by 1 carer. Avoid as far as possible the presence of additional family members.

    Use of hydro-alcoholic gel to clean hands before starting each task (gel will be available in each room we use) of the experimental session with the participant.

    Adults (both participants and researchers) must wear masks provided by CIMCYC.

    Material will be washed after each participant:

    Toys: disinfection with chlorinated water solution.

    Towels: to be deposited in the used clothes collector and washed at the end of the day at a temperature of 60º.

    Disinfection of surfaces (tables, chairs, and any other object that may be touched by participants) with chlorinated water solution after each participant.

    Researchers: Use of gown. Each researcher must have an exclusive use gown that will be worn during the entire stay in the laboratory and must be washed at a temperature of 60º after each day that they have worked in the laboratory.