As you know, we are currently experiencing an unprecedented situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic for which a ministerial decree declaring a state of health emergency throughout Quebec was issued on March 13, 2020. Accordingly, based upon directives from the “Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux (MSSS)”, as well as the McGill University Faculty of Medicine and the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital (The Neuro), most research activities at the Neuro involving on-site visit(s) of human participants were cancelled starting on that date.
Following new directives received on June 5th 2020 from Mr. Pierre Lafleur, sous-ministre adjoint, MSSS, and following the decision made by the Neuro Executive Team (Research), in conformity with the directives of the Division of Medical Microbiology at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University, research activities involving human volunteers are now allowed to resume at the Neuro, conditional on following a comprehensive set of public health and safety regulations, which are detailed below.
First of all, let it be clear that preserving your wellbeing as a volunteer as well as that of our research staff at the Neuro is of the utmost importance to us.
Furthermore, based upon expert opinions from the Infectious Diseases, Infection Prevention and Control Department, Division of Medical Microbiology at the MUHC, we believe that The Neuro is as safe an environment for you as any public place. We recognize, however, that the situation is fluid and constantly evolving and that conditions may be different in the future.
Nevertheless, in certain cases the procedures of some research projects may require that one, and potentially more than one, member of our team come close to you, to the point of touching you over a certain period of time (minutes). In cases like this the recommended 2m social distancing will not be respected. Of course, measures (see below) have been put in place to mitigate any risk associated with this situation.
The following are the health measures that have been put in place and that must be observed during your visit to The Neuro:
1- You (and your accompanying person, if needed) will be met upon arrival at the main entrance (3801, University Street) or at the North Wing L3 entrance of The Neuro by a member of the research team or a technician.
2- Upon arriving at The Neuro, you will immediately be given a disposable face mask, which you will need to keep on at all times (even during study procedures, if possible). Instructions for the proper use of the mask will be communicated to you, if necessary. You will also be asked to use hand sanitizer.
3- You will be escorted to the research lab by a research assistant or a technician who will also be wearing a mask. Please note that the lab (including the research material, the working areas, doorknobs, and other surfaces) will have been disinfected BEFORE you enter the lab. The same disinfection procedure will be carried out AFTER you have left the lab in order to protect the next participant.
4- If necessary, you (and your accompanying person, if needed) will be asked to wait in a waiting room. Only two chairs will be available and will be placed at least 2m apart.
5- During the research procedure(s), the research staff will stay at least 2m away from you. If this is not possible given the nature of the research procedures (ex. positioning in a scanner or installation of EEG cap), the technician will be wearing a mask and a full-face visor (or goggles). The duration of close contact between research staff and you will be kept as short as possible. Conversation between you and the technician will also be kept to a minimum.
6- Finally, once the research is completed, you will be escorted back to the exit by a member of the research team or by a technician.
Please keep in mind that your participation to research is on a voluntary basis only. You may chose not to participate in research during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Should you have any additional questions regarding research at the Neuro during the COVID-19 pandemic, please do not hesitate to ask the research team.