Please Note: We will continue to keep this page updated. This page was last updated on 3/4/21.
Dallas Research Center Updates
We are currently open and conducting studies! Govenor Greg Abbot has issued an order to lift the mask mandate in Texas. Although masks are no longer required in Texas, we will still require panelists and staff to wear masks in the building and we will continue to follow our safety protocols as described below.
To protect you and our staff, at this time only panelists (no children, family members, or friends) are allowed in the clinic. All panelists are required to wear a mask into the clinic. When you arrive for your first visit, you will be given a face shield. You will be required to keep the face shield and return with it for your subsequent visits. Please read more below about the safety precautions we have put in place, and what to expect when you come for your study.
If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected] and include the study number you are inquiring about. Please do not call our office line because we are working with limited staff and may not get to your message quickly.
Key Goals and Our Strategy
Your health and safety are our top priority. Therefore, we have developed an operating strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. These goals of our strategy are consistent with the guidelines put in place by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and SGS-North America. The health and safety of our employees, study participants and any other person who comes to our facilities is our priority. Our goals are as follows:
- Follow the rules of local governments and authorities
- Help reduce illness and death related to COVID-19
- Minimize disease transmission
- Protect employees and study participants
- Minimize business disruption by providing a safe environment to conduct clinical trials.
What to Expect
Future study visits during the COVID-19 pandemic will be significantly different from previous visits to SGS Stephens. Any guests that accompany you will be asked to stay in the car or outside (maintaining social distancing) and for now children will not be allowed in the clinic with you unless they are currently on a study and here for a visit. We recommend that you leave your children at home or plan to have someone watch them during the visit. You are required to wear a mask or some type of facial covering to the visit to protect yourself and others around. When you arrive for your first visit, you will be given a face shield. You will be required to keep the face shield and return with it for your subsequent visits. At some points during the visit, you may be asked to temporarily remove the mask and face shield so we can do our job of checking your skin for changes.
In preparation for resuming studies, all SGS Stephens employees have undergone extensive training that covers how COVID-19 spreads, reviewed the signs and symptoms, infection prevention, and control measures. All employees will be screened daily for fever and instructed to check daily for any signs of illness before coming to work. To enhance awareness, signs, and posters will be posted at entrances and in strategic places (restrooms, elevators, clinic and wait areas) providing instructions signs and symptoms of COVID-19, hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette.
In preparation for study visits, we have instituted several steps and measures to protect you and our staff.
Steps We Have Taken to Protect You
- Check in and clinic staff will be required to wear a protective mask, gloves, lab coat and glasses.
- Plexiglass partitions have been installed to minimize contact between subject and staff. In the event a plexiglass partition is not feasible, the clinic staff carrying out the procedures will wear face masks and goggles.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available throughout the clinic for use by staff and panelists.
- Clinical graders will apply alcohol-based hand sanitizer to their hands before and directly after they touch a panelist’s skin. Touching a panelist’s skin will be minimized as much as possible.
- Clinic areas will be disinfected twice daily, and lab coats will be washed daily.
Social Distancing and Crowd Control
- A limited number of panelists will be allowed in the facility at a given time. Panelists will not be allowed to bring guests or children with them to their scheduled visit unless they are on a study and here for a visit. If you do bring guests and children that are not on a study and here for a visit, they will be asked to wait outside.
- Only panelists with a confirmed appointment time be allowed in the facility.
- Seating has been re-arranged to maintain social distancing.
Health Checks and Precautions
- Staff will be required to have their temperature checked daily. If an employee has a temperature of ≥100.3˚F then they will not be allowed to enter the facility.
Steps We Ask You to Take
- All panelists will be asked to follow recommended guidelines for wearing a mask or protective facial covering to the clinic. When you arrive for your first visit, you will be given a face shield. You will be required to keep the face shield and return with it for your subsequent visits. You may be asked to remove your mask and face shield temporally during your visit in order to do a skin evaluation.
- When you arrive at the facility, please sanitize your hands with one of our Alcohol-based hand sanitizers available throughout the clinic or wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Social Distancing and Crowd Control
- Panelists will not be allowed to bring guests or children with them to their scheduled visit unless they are on a study and here for a visit. If you do bring guests and children, that are not on a study and here for a visit, they will be asked to wait outside.
- Only come to the facility if you have a confirmed appointment time. If you do not have a confirmed appointment time, you will not be allowed in the clinic.
- Panelists will be asked not to arrive more than 10 minutes prior to their visit.
Health Checks and Precautions
- Panelists will be required to complete a health declaration and Panelist COVID policy or confirm these forms on file are accurate.
- Panelists will be required to have their temperature taken when they arrive to the facility. If someone has a temperature of >99.5˚F they will not be allowed to enter and will be asked to reschedule their appointment. you can return to the clinic when you have been fever-free for 72 hours.
- We ask that if you have symptoms or have encountered anyone who has signs or symptoms of COVID-19, that you do not participate in our studies. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and body aches. You may be allowed back in the clinic 14 days after your symptoms have cleared and 14 days after you have been exposed to someone who has symptoms of COVID-19.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 while you are on a study, please inform your study coordinator as soon as poissble. You will be permitted back into the clinic after you have been symptom-free for 14 consecutive days or unless you are able to provide two negative COVID-19 test results (please be aware that the two tests must have been taken more than 24 hours apart from each other).
Your safety is our number one concern. We appreciate your cooperation and welcome you to be part of the SGS Stephens family.
Thank you for your participation in our studies. We wish you and your families all the best for your health and safety during this challenging time.