The BRIC Human Imaging facility will provide information and resources regarding operations during COVID-19 on this page. Please check back for updated infomation.

Current COVID-19 Screening Forms

(Updated July 31, 2020)

Adult MRI Screening Adult Contrast MRI Screening

 

Spanish MRI Screening Spanish Contrast MRI Screening

 

Pediatric MRI Screening

 

BRIC COVID-19 FAQs

(Updated August 31, 2020)

Before reviewing these questions or planning a study visit at BRIC, users should review the BRIC COVID Response Plan document thoroughly. Users may obtain a copy of this document, by emailing mibric@med.unc.edu.

*Please note, if a subject is being dropped off by a driver, subject should pass wellness and temperature check before driver leaves Marsico Hall. If the participant does not pass the wellness and temperature check, they will need the ability to leave right away.

Q: Can I show my participant photos of the BRIC staff without masks before they arrive?

A: Yes! Photos of our team with and without masks can be found at https://www.med.unc.edu/bric/meet-our-bric-human-imaging-techs/ 

Q: Will users still obtain physical pink parking passes to hand to participants?

A: BRIC now has the ability to email a parking pass to a study team member for their study visit the following day. Study staff will be responsible for providing parking passes to participants on the day of their BRIC visit. There is a new checkbox on iLab reservations that indicate necessity of a parking pass. Users will also need to input the email address of the staff member to whom we should email the parking pass.

Q: Will electronic versions of the MRI, Contrast and PET screening forms be available?

A: Yes, they can be found on the BRIC website https://www.med.unc.edu/bric/?page_id=7069&preview=true

Q: School of medicine is no longer requiring temperature checks, but the BRIC is.  Can you clarify? 

A: BRIC leadership and staff still consider temperature checks to be of critical importance, especially in a clinical environment.  Technologists will use contactless thermometers, so that masks remain in place during temperature checks. If there is reason to believe that a thermometer is providing an inaccurate reading, additional steps may be taken to confirm the reading. For example, if the thermometer seems impacted by the extreme summer temperatures, there will be a brief waiting period followed by an additional temperature reading. Multiple thermometers are available, in the instance of faulty equipment.

Q: The re-opening document uses the term “study staff.”  Can you clarify who that applies to?

A:  PIs, study coordinators, research assistants, anyone who works for an individual lab group.  Study staff does not include BRIC staff/technologists.

Q:  Will scanners be able to run simultaneously? 

A:  Yes, but things will be operating a little differently.  There will be more time needed for cleaning, prepping, etc. so available scanner time will be impacted.  BRIC staff will make every effort to run multiple scanners simultaneously, as needed.

Q:  What about prep room time for PET studies for placing IVs and uptake time?

A: Users can come into the room 15 minutes before the IV placement. BRIC staff will work closely with each individual study on what this will look like since each study has different requirements, uptake times, etc.

Q:  Will subjects have to wear masks in the scanner?

A:  Yes, this will be required.  UNC Health is also requiring that all patients wear masks inside the scanner.  Of course, there will be some exceptions for people who are already claustrophobic, children under 2 (or slightly older children who may struggle with wearing a mask and keeping it in place), and people who have difficulty breathing while wearing a mask.

Some protocols require subject to ingest or inhale a substance during imaging, which would be an allowable exception to the mask rule.  Masks must be worn unless there is a BRIC allowed exception.

If subject is granted an exception for mask wearing, BRIC has plans for this.  Regardless of whether or not a subject/patient is wearing a mask, BRIC staff will clean inside the bore between each participant.  We have an MR safe device to clean the inside of the bore and BRIC staff will vary their use of PPE accordingly.

Q: What does our study team do if the single study staff member running the visit needs to switch out with someone during the visit?

A: This should occur at a time when a BRIC staff member is able to supervise the participant, so he/she is never unattended.  The second staff member should wait outside before the replacement staff member comes in so that the two are not in the facility together during the switch.

Q: In terms of the cancellation policy, what happens if my participant passes the wellness check the day before, but is symptomatic upon arrival to BRIC?

A: If users do their due diligence to send in all the required documentation and completed wellness checks 24 hours before, it seems reasonable that they have taken all possible steps to screen for COVID-19. In that case, BRIC will not charge the cancellation fee. The cancellation policy does still apply in all situations unrelated to previously undetected COVID symptoms (woke up late, car broke down, forgot to cancel, etc).  BRIC does not want to take advantage of users that have taken all the right steps, and still encountered a subject that may present with symptoms.

Q: In the scenario above, what happens if the radiopharmacy/radiochemistry team has already synthesized a PET tracer on the day of the scan prior to a subject arriving with symptoms?

A: BRIC and the user will split the cost of the tracer. Users may reach out to Eric Smith with additional questions regarding tracers.

Q: How does training work?

A: Two types of trainings will inevitably be necessary. 1 – How does a user train staff on study specific procedures conducted at BRIC? 2 – How does a new user receive training on BRIC procedures, as is required for new badge access?

Users should conduct study staff trainings outside the facility, whenever feasible. Labs may be able to use very specific written instructions, mocking procedures, etc.  There will be certain procedures that staff can well demonstrate only within the facility.  BRIC staff may also be available to assist with filming study staff demonstrating procedures for their individual lab, if time and workload allows. There is also the possibility that some limited lab training time could occur within the facility, if there are otherwise unscheduled times available. BRIC can work with individual study groups on their training needs.

The second type of training is typically for new users who would like to obtain badge access to and need to become familiar with BRIC. Users will continue needing to complete MRI and radiation trainings online, as well as an MRI screening form. BRIC will also create a training video, for new users to have the ability to see within the facility for when a live orientation/tour is not an option. If a user is in need of BRIC training, please contact mibric@med.unc.edu, so that we can coordinate.

Q: What should I do if my participant cannot wear a mask?

A: BRIC will only grant exemptions to the mask rules for those participants/patients that cannot wear a mask due to a health concern, his/her age or the individual study protocol requiring inhalation or ingestion of a substance. In this case, BRIC staff will wear an MR safe respirator. BRIC also recommends that study staff members wear a respirator, especially if the employee will be in the room with the participant while they are without a mask.

Q: Can we do consenting in the lobby waiting zones as long as we are not within earshot of anybody else?

A: IRB has granted permission for many studies considered “low risk” to perform consent remotely, in order to limit face-to-face interactions. BRIC advises users to speak directly to IRB staff regarding consenting practices.

Q: Since study groups may need a record of day-of temperature check, may they record the temperature obtained by BRIC staff during the wellness and temperature check?

A: Yes

Q: BRIC is requesting documentation that the 24 hour call was performed. Should study staff provide a statement of that or should they provide documentation?

A: Please provide a copy of whatever documentation your study uses to record this information for the subject’s file.

Q: For the wellness check from the parking lot or outside of Marsico Hall, should study staff use his or her own cellphone instead of the subject/guardian calling from their own phone?

A: BRIC advises users to have subject call from his or her own phone, to avoid risk of contamination caused by sharing. If a subject does not have a cell phone, study staff could place personal phone inside a plastic bag to avoid contamination while sharing.

Q: Are standard surgical masks MRI safe?

A: All surgical masks will have a metallic nose strip. Users are required to remove the strip carefully before providing to the research subject. Users should cautiously remove the strip, to avoid compromising the effectiveness of the mask. If users need assistance with this, please contact BRIC staff.

Q: Could BRIC allow limited remote access to the ancillary computers for training purposes?

A: Due to security and privacy concerns, this is not an option.

Q: Regarding wearing masks in the scanner, has BRIC done any tests to see if there is increased motion while wearing masks during a scan.  Will you allow researchers pilot time?

A: BRIC has successfully scanned participants with masks, with little to no impact due to mask. At this time, there is no plan to provide pilot time specific to testing with masks. Mask impact on motion is likely to vary depending on the participant, and his or her comfort level with the mask. If an investigator has specific concerns, they should contact BRIC.

Q: If participant/patient is on campus for other testing elsewhere on the day of the scan before reporting to BRIC, will BRIC rely on our patient screening (temp check / wellness check) without having to repeat it again at BRIC?

A: If study staff can provide documentation that a clinician has performed screening on the day of the scan, we will accept. Study staff should email this documentation to BRIC ahead of the subject’s arrival.

Q: If there are 30 minutes between scans, and one group can be in the imaging suite for up to 15 minutes after their scan and the next group can arrived up to 15 minutes before their appointment, when does the cleaning occur?  Does that occur during that 30 minutes as well while the researchers are in the changing rooms or is there an additional time when no one will be allowed in to the scanner suite?

A: Technologists will be cleaning the scan room during the 15 minutes after the scan, and study staff are responsible for cleaning the prep room during this same time. As one study is exiting the suite, the next group can come into a cleaned suite. We realize this limits the amount of prep room time normally available to user groups. This is necessary, in order to maximize available scanner time.

Q: When does the MRI screening by the Technologist occur?

A: BRIC technologist will screen subject during the 15 minutes before his or her scan. It is likely that screening will not be possible earlier. This makes it critical for user to submit screening forms to BRIC 24 hours before imaging appointment.

Q: Can the fMRI response (button) boxes be disinfected in the normal way without damaging them or do we need to find some sort of replaceable cover for them?

A: Technologists already routinely disinfect these devices between participants.

Q: If the same group is booking consecutive scan times, does the group need to leave 30 minutes between subjects versus 15 minutes to accommodate cleaning between participants?

A: If subjects live under the same roof, live in same household or facility, the study team may schedule 15 minutes between the participants. Ex. If a study is scanning siblings, or parent/child pairs, staff only need to leave 15 minutes between the two visits on iLab.

Q: Will it be possible to have someone in the scanner room with a participant (ex: parent/child)?

A: Yes. A technologist, guardian or study team member is allowed in the scan room with the participant, only when needed. It is preferable for only one of these to be in the room with participant at a time, unless there is a health/safety concern that would require additional personnel. BRIC staff may request someone to exit a space, if there are too many people occupying the room at a given point in time.

Q: Our study uses a weighted blanket. Will this be allowed?

A: BRIC will only allow use of a weighted blanket if an easily disinfected, fluid-resistant cover can be used.  At this time, Dock-a-tots are not allowed. Only cushions that are fluid resistant should be used.

Q: Does BRIC supply all of the cleaning supplies or does our study need to supply them?

A: Yes, BRIC will provide cleaning supplies, stationed throughout the facility. Please notify BRIC personnel if you cannot locate appropriate supplies.

Q: Dentists use a disposable, plastic sheeting with adhesive on their equipment to prevent contamination. Rather than having subjects wear masks in the scanner, could this plastic sheeting be used to cover the head coil or inside of the bore?

A: No, this could fall and create a suffocation hazard.

Q: What are the scanner hours?

A:

Prisma hours, Monday-Friday 8a-11p and weekends TBD

PETMR, PETCT and 7T hours, Monday-Friday 8a-4p

There may be some limitations within the hours of operation. Exceptions may be possible on a case-by-case basis, but the current focus is to support our regular hours to the best of our ability.

Q: Should new coordinators contact Amber for training/access?

A: Please email mibric@med.unc.edu.

Q: Does BRIC have magnets available for double-checking ferromagnetic items, most specifically to be sure masks have had the metallic strip removed?

A: Yes, and will be adding several more.

Q: Are face shields allowed instead of a mask?

A: No. Users may wear masks in conjunction with, not in lieu of, a mask.

Q: Where should users direct other questions?

A: mibric@med.unc.edu

Q: For DCM, multiple staff may need to be in elevator simultaneously with an animal for safety. BRIC rules state on person per elevator. What should we do?

A: Elevator rule may have exception for safety reasons, such as DCM animal care.

Q: Is there a specific procedure to confirm previous study personnel have vacated BRIC spaces (behavioral assessment room, mock scanner room, etc)?

A: At this time, there is no specific procedure. However, research staff should be careful to vacate at or before the end of their reserved time slot, or speak with BRIC staff to see if an exception/extension is possible on a case-by-case basis. Study staff should also have performed necessary cleaning before vacating the space. BRIC will also provide additional signs to confirm when a waiting zone has been sanitized and ready for next group.

Q: If I am in the College of Arts and Sciences and we have our own review process, do I also need to submit to CRRC for approval to resume study activities?

A: Yes. You must receive departmental and College approval, in addition to CRRC approval.