6. Special Considerations for Field-based Research
- Field-based and community-based participatory research may continue if permitted by the University and by the School’s Research Dean and if the required safety measures in the OVCR guidance can be followed.
- Travel for UNC business is currently restricted to North Carolina and is not permitted outside of the state at this time. The University will release more information about travel when it receives further guidelines from the UNC System and the State.
- When traveling by vehicle, no more than two people should occupy a standard car at a time, and each should always be wearing a University-provided mask and eye protection. If possible, windows should be open to allow for a constant supply of fresh air.
- When interacting with individuals in the field, University-provided masks should always be worn, and gloves and eye protection should be used if directly interacting with or exchanging items with another individual. Researchers must provide masks, eye protection, and gloves (if direct interaction or exchange of items is required) for study subjects.
- Research that involves participants of 10 or fewer individuals in a group, such as a focus group, is allowed. Seating should be arranged to allow 6 feet between group members, and all focus group participants must wear face masks.
- Physical distancing (minimum 6 feet distance while wearing a mask) is required.
- Researchers must adhere to all safety guidelines provided by the research site, including but not limited to, use of additional protective personal equipment, if required.
- If research participants are provided data collection equipment (e.g., wearable devices) for use in the field site, that equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized prior to release to and following return from each participant’s use. Cleaning supplies and directions for using those supplies with the data collection equipment must be provided to participants for their own use.
- If research involves travel or overnights, accommodation and meals should allow for adequate physical distancing (6 feet or more) wherever feasible.
1. Some key documents from the UNC Health websites are replicated on CRSO website for those without UNCHCS intranet access https://www.med.unc.edu/crso/unc-healthcare-guidelines-for-covid-19/