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Re-Opening Guidelines for In-Person Studies

Based on its commitment to the health and safety of its employees, clients, and participants, Focus Crossroads is implementing elevated practices to ensure a safe research environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. With these new protocols in place, Focus Crossroads will be reopening on July 15th, 2020.

Focus Crossroads’ Management Team will closely monitor CDC guidelines and recommendations and make any necessary changes based on current information available. In advance of their arrival to our facility, all staff members, clients, and participants will be informed of any new procedures, policies and preventative measures being employed.

Facility Policies

Prior to Arrival

Research participants will be asked the following series of questions when being screened for project qualification. An answer of “Yes” to any of these questions will disqualify the potential research participant.

  • Have you knowingly been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
  • Are you currently experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 such as cough, fever or shortness of breath?
  • Are you currently feeling ill or have experienced a cold, flu or fever within the past 14 days?

All visitors will be required sign a liability release related to COVID-19 prior to arrival.

Arrival Procedures

Screening of all staff members, clients, and participants will consist of:

  • Temperature scan (via no-touch infrared forehead thermometer) would be required for everyone entering the facility.
    • Anyone with a temperature reading above the current CDC guidelines (100.4 F / 38 C temporal) will be asked to leave and will not be able to participate in or view the research.
  • Any facility staff members/visitors who display any COVID-19-like symptoms will be asked to leave and will not be able to participate in or view the research.
  • All facility staff members/visitors will be screened upon arrival to verify that:
    • They have not knowingly been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
    • They are not experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 such as cough or shortness of breath.
    • They are not currently feeling ill or have experienced a cold, flu, or fever within the past 14 days.
  • All staff members/visitors will be required to use hand sanitizer upon entry to the facility and focus room.
  • Elevators used to access our 10th floor facility are currently limited to 3 people riding at one time.

On-Site Protocols

    • All staff members will wear masks, face shields, and gloves (when appropriate).
    • Participants and clients are required to wear masks when entering the facility and when in common areas. If a visitor does not have a mask, one will be provided free of charge.
    • To assist with the compliance of physical distancing, floor decals will be strategically placed throughout the facility.
    • The main reception desk will be outfitted with an acrylic divider to ensure the safety of our staff members, clients, and participants.
    • Participant identification will be presented behind the acrylic divider.
    • To alleviate shared documents and a high traffic check-in process, all forms (i.e. consent, non-disclosure agreements, liability release documents, as well as any pre-work assignments) will be signed/completed and sent electronically to Focus Crossroads prior to the qualitative sessions.
    • Only one project will be allowed to take place at a time within the facility.
    • Research sessions will be staggered to maintain physical distancing, limit traffic flow at the facility and for sanitizing/cleaning practices between groups.
    • The facility space will be re-configured based on project needs to provide appropriate physical distancing in waiting areas, focus rooms, client viewing rooms, and client lounges. Upon request, additional client viewing capacity can be provided via remote monitors located in other client lounges.
    • We will keep the number of personnel in any space below maximum levels set by the state/locality.
    • Group size will be limited to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet based on the room size, and 3-sided plexiglass/sneeze guards will be made available.
    • All research participants will be required to use hand sanitizer prior to entering the focus room.
    • Participants will be asked to enter and exit the focus room individually to maintain physical distancing.
    • Moderators unable to travel would be able to stream/moderate remotely for a nominal fee. A proctor or client assistant would also be available to distribute any stimuli necessary for a nominal fee.
    • Local moderators could be offered upon request.
    • Incentives will be issued virtually.
    • Supplies being utilized for each session (e.g., pads, pencils, etc.) will only be used one time.
    • Non-essential items (e.g., magazines, candy dishes, etc.) will be removed from the waiting rooms, viewing rooms, and client lounges.

Food and Beverage:

    • Bottled water will be the only beverage option offered to research participants. If clients request that mealtime food or snacks items be provided to participants, these will be limited to individually packaged items.
    • Client food service will be comprised of individually packaged orders and will be served as delivered with no re-plating.
    • Tablecloths, plates, napkins, cups, utensils etc. will all be disposable.

Heightened Cleaning/Sanitizing Practices

  • Staff will wear masks, face shields, and gloves when preparing anything that will be handled by clients and/or participants.
  • Staff will sanitize/disinfect all areas/rooms prior to and between each session, with extra time allocated between sessions for thorough cleaning of all surfaces.
  • Staff will maintain continuous cleaning of all high-touch areas of facility – reception area, waiting rooms, doorknobs, tabletops, chairs, counters, kitchen area, etc.
  • Touchless hand sanitizers will be stationed at the reception desk and outside of all focus rooms and will be required to be used upon entry to facility and focus room.
  • Additional stocked supplies of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitizing sprays/wipes and tissues will be made available upon request, and these products will be available for usage in areas throughout the facility.
  • Signs will be posted within the facility as a friendly reminder to all visitors and employees to help prevent the spread of the viruses by:
    • Wearing masks
    • Washing hands or using hand sanitizer frequently
    • Avoiding touching your face
    • Using tissues to cover cough or sneeze
    • Maintaining physical distancing
    • Staying home if they are not feeling well

The building housekeeping staff is providing additional, continuous cleaning services throughout the day.

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