2020-07-10 MRRC: Reopening July 13, 2020 + Additional Procedures

July 10, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Based on the large increase in cases and concerns regarding potential airborne spread, we suspended non Tier-1 research studies this past week. The MRRC will resume studies this coming Monday, July 13, with additional enhanced safety measures in place to better address the increased risk at this time. These measures are described below.

    1. We are requesting that investigators complete additional screening for their subjects:

        1. Has the subject visited a state in the last 14 days which is on the Pennsylvania State list for quarantine? https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx

        2. Has the subject been in an indoor public setting in the last 14 days where masks were not used by everyone (e.g. dine in restaurant, bar, large private party)?

      If the subject responds positively to either question, the subject will need to be rescheduled to a later date so the 14 day waiting period is met.

    2. We are strongly recommending that all subjects wear masks while in the magnet for their own safety and that of others. We anticipate that this may be problematic for some subjects groups, thus this is a recommendation. However, we expect that every investigator will offer wearing a mask to their subjects while in the magnet. An MRI safe mask will be available and provide by the MRRC for those not having one.

    3. All staff interacting (MRRC staff and research staff) with a subject while unmasked will be asked to wear a face shield in addition to a mask.

    4. Interactions with an unmasked subject in the magnet room must be limited to less than 15 minutes.

    5. A mandatory minimum 30 minute wait time between studies will be strictly enforced to allow sufficient time for room air changes within the magnet rooms. Thus it is critical that the study team wait until they are called to come to the MRRC. Study groups showing up without being called will be asked to leave the MRRC and their time slots may be cancelled.

We thank you for your patience during this difficult period. The extent to which the MRRC can remain open is completely dependent upon our joint ability to maximize safety and eliminate spread of the virus in our work environments.

REMINDERS: Please check with your staff to ensure they are receiving MRRC communications, if not please contact Jen Dobberstein (dobbersteinj@pitt.edu). Our Communications and Policies are available on our website.

Hoby Hetherington