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COVID-19 — Miscellaneous

IMPORTANT UPDATE: DOR Research Clinic operations

A Message from Dr. Stephen Sidney

As you know, on March 12, I announced that the DOR Research Clinic was closed beginning on March 16 to most study activities.  The original closure covered the period from March 16 through April 15.  As the pandemic developed, Alameda County enacted shelter in place orders on March 17 with the current extension of the order effective until May 3.  An announcement was made today that the order will be extended through May with the new order issued later this week.  The clinic will remain closed to most activities until then with extension beyond that date very possible. 

What kind of activities are taking place at the DOR Research Clinic during this period?
Access to the DOR Mosswood clinic is limited during the shelter-in-place.  Tony Robinson is at the front desk for deliveries until 1:30pm each weekday.  DOR staff working on Pedi-Onc and clinical trials with medication interventions (e.g., COVID-19, CDIFF) have access to the clinic for work that cannot be done remotely.  Shipping of biospecimens required by study protocols is also taking place.

When will research studies generally be able to use the DOR Research Clinic again?
The decision to open the clinic to non-clinical trial studies will require leadership approval within TPMG and will be made in consultation with the Institutional Review Board.  We do not have an estimated date for re-opening.  We will consider whether general changes need to be made in clinic operations, e.g., maintenance of social distancing as much as possible and enhanced room cleaning procedures.  It is also possible that there may be a phase-in of the types of activities that are allowable.  We will be discussing this with DOR leadership and will keep you advised of any developments.  Because many of you are aware of the space needs of the CARDIA study for its Year 35 follow-up exam, the exam start has been delayed from June 1 to at least the early fall and we are adapting our questionnaire administration procedures so that they completed with the participants at home beginning in July 2020.

What to do if you need access to the DOR Research Clinic during this period?
Similar to 2000 Broadway, access to the DOR Mosswood clinic is being monitored during the shelter-in-place.   If circumstances require, you may request clinic access by emailing clinic manager Donna Abrams.  Please include staff name, the purpose of the visit, along with proposed dates and times.  Requests will be reviewed by Dr. Sidney, with further review by Dr. Lieu and Tom Dang. 
Personal and clinic safety measures.
Personal masks are required when working in the clinic with other staff members or with study participants.  The CDC recommends, “cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used.” The clinic currently has a limited numbers of masks, if needed.  Enhanced clinic room cleaning procedures will be shared when available from the Oakland Medical Center. 

Keeping daily track of research staff and study participants
Looking ahead, plans to reopen the clinic will include a process to notify employees of any possible exposures to COVID, while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  As such, when the clinic reopens be sure to document all staff and participants scheduled for each study visit in Visual Planning.  Project Coordinators will be asked to confirm the information in Visual Planning, if a person recently at the clinic subsequently tests positive for COVID-19. Additionally, project coordinators will need to maintain a daily record of study personal who work in the clinic which will be entered into a weekly log that is being developed  by Donna.

Please let Donna Abrams and me know if you have questions.

Best regards and stay well.

Stephen Sidney, MD, MPH
Director of Research Clinics
Kaiser Permanente Northern California