Updated Guidance from the REB March 24, 2020
Dear Members of the Campus Research Community:
As the context for the COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, the REB has updated its guidelines for all research involving human participants. The important criterion that needs to be borne in mind is social-distancing:
1. Research which is conducted on-line, does not require the research to be on campus, and does not require any travel by the research team or the research participants may continue;
3. All research requiring in-person interaction must be suspended. The REB advises revising in-person data collection methods to on-line through phone or on-line platforms, if possible, taking into consideration that these methods do not increase risks to participants;
4. The REB is reviewing research related to COVID-19 as rapidly as possible; please keep in touch with the REB Chair through email@example.com;
5. For any research ethics related questions, please contact the Research Ethics Board Chair, Dr. Suzanne McMurphy through firstname.lastname@example.org or by home phone: 519-736-8722 or cell: 226-346-1425.
For animal care related inquiries, please contact John Hudson, Chair of the Animal Care Committee at email@example.com.
Thank you for your continued patience during this unprecedented time.
University of Windsor REB Guidance during COVID-19 Outbreak
The University of Windsor REB will continue to be available to researchers and study participants by email through the REB mailbox—firstname.lastname@example.org—and by voicemail at the Office of Research Ethics 519-253-3000, ext. 3948. Both the REB email and REB voicemail will be monitored daily, even if Office of Research Ethics is closed. The REB will continue to respond to requests to revise for active projects and review of unanticipated and adverse events submitted by e-mail.
The REB encourages researchers to suspend or delay research projects that include in-person recruitment or data collection until the WHO Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is over (https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus). In some research settings in-person participation can be replaced with telephone or online communication. Considerations include the nature of the protocol, the type of participants engaged in the research, and any additional risk that may arise by switching from in-person to virtual communication. Revised participant consents or consent addendums may be required (e.g., to update privacy considerations with use of different communication channels). Requests to Revise can be submitted to the REB through email@example.com.
The REB also advises researchers to limit personal contacts, laboratory visits or trips to clinics and hospitals for research purposes.
The REB also reminds researchers with protocols that involve physical assessments and use of equipment that, even after the current concern is over, disinfection according to manufacturer’s standards is of paramount importance and single use accessories is advised. In the absence of manufacturers standards, thorough cleaning between participants is required and has always been a condition of REB clearance.
Where research staff are feeling unwell, care should be taken to stay home to prevent transmission of any illness. For further information from the University of Windsor please see: http://www.uwindsor.ca/coronavirus/303/coronavirus-faq
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 from Health Canada, please see: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
If an immediate response is required, please contact the REB Chair at extension 3709 or her cell phone: 226-346-1425.