COVID-19 Study FAQs

What is a research study?

Research studies help us gain scientific knowledge that may help people in the future. 

What is this study all about?

As you are aware, the coronavirus pandemic is a public health emergency. By studying the frequency of symptoms, coronavirus exposures, and infections, researchers can help doctors and public health leaders better understand the pandemic and develop strategies to fight it.

This study involves the collection of information about our community’s coronavirus exposures, symptoms, and health care visits due to the virus. If you are a health care worker, the study will collect information on your use of personal protective equipment.

There is no cost for participating.

The information collected about you is for research purposes only. This information will not be used to guide your medical care. Your doctor or health care provider will not have access to this information.

Why should I participate?

When lots of people join community-based studies like the COVID-19 Community Research Partnership, the information provided helps our local public health officials who are working to protect us all from COVID-19. Participation is simple and the information you provide in this study will help us learn more about COVID-19 in our community and will contribute to our community’s future health and safety. 

Who can join this study?

This study is no longer accepting new participants. Participants of this study includes patients and employees of Tulane University affiliated clinics, DePaul Community Health Centers, and Access Health Louisiana and are 18 years of age or older.  

What is involved with this study?

After completing the study consent form and enrollment questionnaire on the SneezSafe website, for up to one year, you will receive a link to a very brief survey to complete. It is expected the survey will take less than a minute to complete.

The survey can be completed on your smartphone, tablet or computer. It is expected the survey will take less than a minute to complete. The study will continue as long as there are concerns about the pandemic in our region. However, you can stop receiving the surveys at any time.

The survey covers the following:

  • Your COVID-19 illness history or symptoms
  • Your visits to the doctor and treatments
  • Your contact with other sick people
  • If you are a healthcare worker, your use of personal protective equipment

The information collected in the survey will be used for research purposes and will not be entered into your medical records.

Participants will also be asked to allow the study team to collect information about their health status from the medical records at their Tulane University affiliated clinic, Access Health Louisiana clinic, or DePaul Community Health Center. This information will help us to understand how your health affects your risk of getting sick from COVID-19. Your health information will be strictly confidential and your identity will not be disclosed in any reports or data analysis.

Some of the study participants will also be selected to receive an at-home test kit to look for antibodies to COVID-19. If you are selected and choose to do the at-home antibody testing, from time to time you will be sent an at-home test collection kit.  You will do a finger prick to produce a small amount of blood for collection on a dried blood spot card. Your kit will instruct you to package the dried blood spot card in an enclosed return mailer and send it back via FedEx.  Participants selected for antibody testing will receive test kits every one or two months.

The at-home testing does not diagnose (tell you if you have) COVID-19. Testing is for research only and should not replace tests that your doctor would perform.

Is the at-home test kit for antibodies optional?

Yes. You can ask to take part in the at-home testing, or you can choose to only complete the surveys. 

What other locations are participating in this study?

This study is happening within other healthcare networks in multiple locations throughout the Southeastern United States, including Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, and Washington DC. For more information on these other sites, please visit: http://www.covid19communitystudy.org/.

Will my privacy be protected if I join the study?

Yes. Information collected in the study will be used for research purposes only and will not be entered into your medical records. Any information shared for the purpose of this study will have your name and date of birth removed. Your SSN is not used or even accessed for this study.

Who can answer my questions?

If you have questions about the research study, contact us at (855) 559-1861 or email us at  info@covid19communitystudy.org

Who at Tulane University is supervising this study?

Richard Oberhelman, MD
Department of Global and Community Health and Behavioral Sciences
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Joseph Keating, PhD, MA
Department of Tropical Medicine
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Patricia Kissinger, PhD, MPH, RN
Department of  Epidemiology
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

John Schieffelin, MD
Department of Pediatrics
Section of Infectious Disease
Tulane School of Medicine

Joshua Yukich, PhD, MPH
Department of Tropical Medicine
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Andrew J. Beron, MPH, MLS (ASCP)
Department of Tropical Medicine
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine