COVID-19 Update

July 13, 2021

On June 28, 2021, MSU lifted most COVID-19 rules, except in health care settings, to align with state and federal guidance. This information is in follow-up to these changes.

Lifting of COVID-19 Rules

The lifting of COVID-19 rules also applies to in-person interactions with research participants by MSU employees, MSU students, or agents of MSU. This means that, except for health care settings or other settings with local site requirements:

  • Face masks are no longer required indoors, regardless of vaccination status. However, any individual who chooses to wear a mask should be allowed to do so.
  • Health screening forms no longer need to be completed by MSU employees, MSU students, or research participants or those accompanying research participants.
  • There is no limitation on gathering size for in-person research interactions.
  • The MSU COVID-19 Information Sheet for Research Participants no longer needs to be provided to research participants.
  • The MSU Returning to On-Site Work framework plans are no longer required; however, please follow any applicable Department, College, or Major Administrative Unit requirements.

The Principal Investigator (PI) remains responsible for implementing and monitoring changes to COVID-19 control strategies and assuring that the research team has appropriate staffing, resources, and training to support in-person interactions with research participants.

Follow All Local Site Requirements

If your research takes place at a health care setting, another facility (e.g., school, office), or within a city, county, state, or country with local COVID-19 site requirements, all local COVID-19 site requirements must be followed (e.g., wearing a mask, health screening, any other COVID-19 safety precautions). If there are local COVID-19 site requirements:

  • If a face mask is required, removal of the face mask for research procedures can only occur if permitted by local requirements. Consider having face masks available for research participants.
  • Consider whether additional COVID-19 safety precautions (e.g., use of additional PPE, location designed to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission, social distancing, reduced wait time, limits to the number of individuals who accompany a participant) are necessary based on the local site and your specific research study to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Consult with Jamie Willard, MSU Biological Safety Officer (cherryme@msu.edu) when needed.
  • The PI is responsible for assuring that all members of the research team are trained and knowledgeable on the COVID-19 safety precautions needed to conduct in-person human research, including any study specific requirements.
  • Concerns about COVID-19 safety precautions should be reported to the PI, who is then responsible for either addressing reported concerns or working with other MSU individuals to address the concerns when needed. Concerns about COVID-19 safety precautions may also be reported to the MSU Misconduct Hotline (1-800-763-0764 or https://misconduct.msu.edu)

Collaborators Must Follow Their Organization’s Requirements

If your research involves collaborators under the oversight of their own organization (employees or agents of a non-MSU organization), they must comply with their own organizational requirements and the collaborators need to obtain the appropriate approvals at their organization.

Continue to Incorporate Key Prevention Measures

Key prevention measures should still be followed, including:

  • Maintaining proper hygiene and health practices (frequent hand washing, routinely cleaning your research space).
  • Adhering to all signage and instructions posted by MSU, public health authorities, or facilities where research is conducted.
  • Self-monitoring, staying at your place of residence and contacting a health care provider if you experience COVID 19 or flu like symptoms.
  • Communicate to participants or others that they should not come to participate in any in-person interactions if they have COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.
  • Delay in-person interactions if a participant or an individual accompanying the participant has indicated that they have or display COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.
  • Contacting a health care provider and following all public health recommendations if you have been exposed to someone who is ill or tested positive for COVID 19.
  • Following all applicable state and public health guidance, as well as cooperating with public health authorities (including contact tracing).
  • Should someone in your research group test positive for COVID-19 or if you are notified that a participant or any other individual present for the in-person interaction tested positive for COVID-19, contact the University Physician (Tel: 517-353-8933; email: uphys@msu.edu). Also, contact Jamie Willard, MSU Biological Safety Officer (cherryme@msu.edu) for guidance regarding cleaning and disinfection.

Questions?

Please visit the MSU HRPP COVID-19 website. If you have any questions, please contact Judy McMillan (mcmill12@msu.edu).