Due to the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, iTech paused all recruitment and enrollment activities – with the exception of two online-only studies (We Prevent and ePrEP) – on March 17th 2020. Follow-up visits were permitted if they could be conducted online or, as determined by the SRV’s PI, that conducting these visits in-person was in the best interest of staff and participants and as long as those activities did not increase the risk or burden for participants.
As many states and jurisdictions begin to reopen, SRVs are encouraged to assess their readiness to re-open their clinical sites to conduct in-person iTech study visits (both enrollment and follow-up). However, given that much is still unknown regarding COVID-19’s impact moving forward, we caution against rapid re-opening of in-person activities. We have submitted IRB modifications to accommodate virtual visits, and meanwhile are developing remote procedures and training materials. We remain committed to transitioning procedures to virtual delivery, when appropriate, and trainings on these procedures are currently being scheduled.
Thank you for your support, nimbleness, and positive spirit during these challenging last two months. This has truly been a group effort. Special thanks to our Protocol Specialists, Regulatory Coordinators and Data Analysts for their swift and diligent work with iTech study teams and SRVs to adapt study procedures for virtual visits.