Hover over photos to learn how we are practicing safety protocols!

 
 
 
 
Our COVID-19 Saftey Plan

The spread of the SARS-Co-V-2 virus that is responsible for COVID-19 necessitates major improvements to our lab’s normal routine health and safety procedures. The goal of this protocol is to put forth a series of best-practice procedures that will substantially mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread during EEG recordings and, in doing so, protect the health and wellness of our research personnel and research participants. Given these mitigation procedures, we assert that the risks associated with recording EEG/ERPs are no greater than what an individual would experience during daily life during the pandemic (e.g., getting a haircut). Our lab health and safety protocol was informed by best-practices detailed by Steven Luck, Ph.D., and his research group at the UC Davis Center for Mind & Brain (Simmons & Luck, 2020) and additional best-practices for clinical neurophysiology (San-Juan et al., 2020).

 

The key elements of our safety protocol are as follows:

 

  1. The primary goal is to reduce the expulsion of the virus into the air and to remove the virus from surfaces

  2. Contact between persons (e.g., researcher and participant) will be minimized whenever feasible. As much of the procedures as possible will be conducted in advance or without direct contact (e.g., consenting). Most importantly, the duration of the electrode application procedure will be minimized, because this involves the closest contact between participant and experimenter

  3. Before entering the lab, participants and researchers will complete a health screener, and anyone with COVID-19 related symptoms or recent contact with a likely COVID-19 case should not enter the lab

  4. Participants and researchers will always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (detailed below) 

  5. All equipment and surfaces that come into contact with the participant and/or researcher will be rigorously disinfected

  6. The electrode application process will be performed in a different room/area from the EEG recording, and the researcher will spend as little time as possible in the recording area

 

Required PPE for all Researchers while in the lab:

  • Disposable surgical-style mask (always)

  • Disposable nitrile gloves (always)

  • Isolation gown (always)

  • Face shields (during electrode net application and electrode net removal)

 

Before you arrive-

  • You will complete all ordinary consenting, screening, and surveys online or over video conference prior to coming to the lab

  • 1-2 days prior to your session, the research project coordinator will send an email/text to the participants describing the institutional and lab procedures required prior to entering the laboratory (e.g., symptom screener, waiting by the door)

  • On the day of your in-person testing, before entering the lab, the researcher will perform a symptom check and temperature screen and log their responses and attendance. 

  • All surfaces and equipment will be disinfected and laid out prior to your arrival

  • Everything that you or the researcher may touch, including all cabinets, counters, door handles, computer mouses, response pad, thermometer, the blue participant chair, and all other routine lab equipment (e.g., water distiller) will be disinfected with Isopropyl alcohol wipes.

 

When you arrive-

  • The researcher will meet you outside the entrance to the lab wearing an isolation gown, gloves, and a mask.

  • You will be asked to put on a disposable surgical mask that we provide, even if you have brought your own.

  • The researchers will administer the COVID-19 symptom screener, temperature check, and log your attendance. You may only enter the laboratory if you pass the symptom screener and temperature check (< 100 degrees).

  • When you enter the lab, you will be asked to put all of your belongings onto our shelves and be asked to apply hand sanitizer.

 

During the session-

  • Any surveys/screeners that must be completed in the lab will occur with at least 6 feet between you and the researcher.

  • Prior to application, the researcher will wash their hands for 20 seconds (or apply hand sanitizer) and put on a fresh pair of gloves and a face shield

  • Head measurements and electrode net applications will be performed per routine lab procedures but in the main testing space.

  • You will then be asked to move into the testing room where one researcher will perform the electrode new application.

    • You will be asked to briefly remove your mask during electrode net application (approx. 1 minute) and electrode net removal (approx. 1 minute). During this process, the researcher will be wearing both a face mask and a face shield. Immediately after net application and removal, you will reapply the mask.

    • Electrode net application and adjustment will occur according to routine lab procedures, adjusting impedances from behind the participant whenever possible.

  • Once the electrode net is placed and adjusted, the researcher will guide you through the task instructions from outside the testing room in the main lab space, with the testing room door open (6-feet distanced).

  • In between EEG tasks, the researcher who applied the electrode net will adjust electrode impedances and provide instructions according to routine lab procedures and with the distancing and full PPE as described above (mask, shield, gloves, isolation gown)

  • At the end of EEG recording, the researcher will remove the electrode net according to routine lab procedures and with full PPE (mask, shield, gloves, isolation gown)

 

After your session-

  • The researchers will perform routine

    • data storage procedures 

    • Discard all syringes and disposable wipes

    • Using the 70% isopropyl wipes, disinfect all surfaces that may have been touched by the participant or researcher, including all non-porous furniture, countertops, response devices, door handles, equipment, etc.

  • Before leaving, the researcher will “check out” on the CBL symptom screener log.

  • When ready to leave the lab space, the researcher will apply hand sanitizer and may dispose of their gloves, mask, and gown after leaving the laboratory.

 

Referring symptomatic research personnel and participants

Any BW community member who becomes symptomatic while on campus should immediately isolate and seek medical care. Contact BW Health Services at (440) 826-2178 and your professor, resident hall advisor or supervisor so they can coordinate with the Health Department on any necessary response.

 

 

 
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Cognition, Brain, & Language Lab

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