COVID-19 Research Ramp-Up

Current Phase 5: Fully operational with health and safety guidelines in place.

In light of the changes at the state and county level, as of June 15, 2021, the USC IRBs will no longer require that PIs complete an Attestation or submit PI- or Study-level resumption plan approval notices in order to conduct research that involves in-person interaction with participants either on campus or in the field/community. Consistent with the approach being undertaken by UCLA, the USC IRBs will still expect that all PIs and study team members will comply with CDC, California Department of Public Health, LA County Department of Public Health, and Cal/OSHA for personnel density, masking, and distancing guidance and requirements when conduct research on campus and in the field/community. To that end, investigators will continue to indicate in iStar if they are going to be conducting field/community-based research involving in-person interaction and if so, answer questions provided by EH&S.

For more information, please refer to the COVID-19 Research Guidance page.

COVID-19 Research Ramp-Up FAQs (as of 8/23)

Study Monitors

What is the process for study monitors?

If it is necessary for a monitor to come to Keck/Norris Hospital and/or licensed clinics, they must register with IntelliCentrics (aka RepTrax). The Intellicentrics registration process is only required for monitors entering Keck Medicine facilities.

For monitors visiting any non-clinical, free-standing research facility on campus, monitors only need to conform to requirements of the individual facility (e.g., trojan check, PPE, physical distancing).

Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) and LAC+USC
What is required to do human subject research at Keck now that California and Los Angeles County have re-opened?

PIs no longer need to have an approved research resumption plan to conduct human subjects research on campus or in the field. Approved research resumption plans are no longer required as a part of IRB submissions. Human subjects research may proceed following USC safety guidelines. It is the responsibility of each PI to ensure those guidelines are followed.

Please see new COVID-19 Guidelines for Clinical Research.

What is the process of resuming research at LAC-DHS?

Research activities at DHS sites require approval from respective Facility Leadership and Investigational Review Boards, as well as prioritization through the DHS Research Oversight Board (ROB) process.

Please refer to this memo from May 21, 2021 for the updates to the guidelines.

TrojanCheck: Wellness Assessment and Campus Access

All USC on-site employees and students are reminded that, as of January 22, 2021, Trojan Check, the daily symptom check and campus access platform, will allow campus access only if you have completed the following:

Completed the appropriate “Health, Hygiene and Safety” online module, accessible through Trojan Learn.

Completed the required COVID-19 testing, Pop Testing 3.0 for the week (or twice weekly, for undergraduate students).

For more information on Trojan Learn and Trojan Check, please click here.

Procedure for Students on Campus

Students (PhD, MS, and undergraduates) are now allowed to work on campus in person in approved activities, including research, by being included on essential employee lists and/or provided with university employment verification letters. All students, faculty and staff can make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccination; log in to MySHR. For more information, see Appendix 4A.

Procedure for Volunteers/Visitors on Campus

Visitors to campus include, but are not limited to: visiting faculty, volunteers, contractors, event attendees, and other visitors to campus buildings. Visitors are expected to follow all public health guidance from the City and County of Los Angeles and abide by campus guidelines and signage to ensure a safe community for all.

Visitors to campus are permitted as part of approved and permitted activities. Visitors will follow all public health guidance from the City and County of Los Angeles, abide by campus rules and signage and be pre-registered through the Trojan Check Web App or by providing a complete, signed, and printed Coronavirus Screening Questionnaire (Appendix 3C). Detailed visitor guidance is in Appendix 2C. Visitors who require an accommodation due to a disability should refer to Appendix 4B.

Contact

What do I do if I become aware of study activity that puts study participants at risk?

If you become aware of study activities or practices that you feel put study participants at risk in any way contact OPRS at oprs@usc.edu or visit the website Complaints, Concerns and Report of Misconduct.

Who do I contact for additional information?

For general questions, please reach out to Julie Slayton – jslayton@usc.edu

For study specific questions, please use the “Send Message to IRB” button in iStar or email the IRB analyst assigned to your study.

Refer to the university’s phase guidelines for more information.

To notify the university about a positive case of COVID-19, call 213-740-6291. To arrange for testing due to exposure or symptoms, call USC Student Health at 213-740-9355 (WELL).