All researchers are expected to apply the following best practices for the foreseeable future in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All investigators must have protocols for ongoing research that comply with these best practices.

The following best practices aim to minimize the risk of infectious disease transmission in human subjects research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. The CDC has concluded based on the review of current scientific research that being vaccinated greatly reduces the risks of contracting or spreading coronavirus. Investigators are therefore encouraged to conduct in-person research only when they are fully vaccinated. 
  2. Regardless of vaccination status, investigators should prepare protocols that follow current CDC guidance on staying safe when interacting with others in indoor and/or outdoor settings. Investigators are therefore expected to use measures and strategies that maximize the protections against disease transmission for investigators and any participants who are not fully vaccinated.
  3. Postponing in-person interaction among individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 infection, as recognized by the CDC. Protocols should be in place to screen investigators and participants, where applicable, for COVID-19 symptoms ahead of planned in-person interaction.