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COVID-19 Changes in MRRF Lab




The Magnetic Resonance Research Facility is currently operating under the Mask and social distancing requirements updated by the University of Iowa OVPR on May 19, 2021.  Due to this recent change, the MRRF lab is no longer asking visitors to wear masks or follow social distancing.  Please select the link above for OVPR guidance on this topic.  

May 29, 2020: MRRF LAB NOTIFICATION (updated June 16, 2020) (https://covidresponse.research.uiowa.edu/news/2020/06/human-subjects-res...)


The Magnetic Resonance Research Facility is currently operating under the Human Subjects directive provided by the University of Iowa OVPR on June 16, 2020. We are open to all studies with restrictions related to subject screening, personal protection equipment, and limited visitors. See the “Changes taking place” section below. This change supersedes previous direction from the OVPR office released on March 16 and May 11. Our ability to operate may change quickly based on future directives provided by the OVPR.

This notification is intended to provide you with basic information on changes taking place within our facility due to COVID-19.  It is our intention to maintain a safe research environment for research participants and research staff. These changes are currently in place and we intend to carry these forward once we can resume full operations. Because of the required adjustments to daily operations, we ask for your patience and understanding during each visit.  We are doing our best to accommodate each research group and to make your visit a safe and enjoyable success. Finally, it should be noted that the changes outlined below to our standard operation are likely to change quickly based on directives from the OVPR or the College of Medicine.


What to do when arriving for scans

  • Please do not arrive more than five minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
  • Go directly to the Nurses waiting station inside L400.
  • If you have already been assigned to room L411 or L402, please go to that room then call x58706 to notify staff of your arrival.  Do not proceed to the scanner suite until directed by staff.
  • If you have not been assigned to a room prior to arrival, please call staff at x58706 for guidance from the phone at the nurses station. 


Changes taking place

1.      We are requiring that research participants and research staff wear masks or facial coverings. Research staff should wear a face shield in addition to the face mask. Please wash/sanitize your hands before and after you enter the facility. Hand sanitizer will be available at the nurses station. Most importantly, stay at home if you are feeling sick.

2.      Only cloth/other face masks with no metal will be allowed in the scanner. Metal clips in face masks will need to be removed from the mask prior to imaging research participants.

3.      Social distancing signage will be posted throughout our facility. Please observe social distancing within the facility.

4.      Temperature of research participants will be taken by MRRF staff prior to taking the participant to the scanner suite.

5.      Screening questions will be asked while temperature of research participants is taken.

Have you had any of these symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.0° F or greater
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Unexplained muscle pain or body aches
  • Chills

6.      In-between scans, our team will sanitize and disinfect the Nurses waiting station, changing rooms, MRI scanner/coils and other areas as needed.

7.      Online scheduler: There will be a 15-minute gap in-between scans to allow for cleaning and sanitization. The scheduler will force new bookings to include this 15-minute gap. This is not billed time but will provide a buffer between imaging studies.   

8.      Only the Research Associate and Subject will be allowed in the facility.  Accompanying visitors will be prohibited except in cases where a single family member and/or caregiver is needed for the patient’s ambulation, understanding of, and/or cooperation with the examination.  Visitors will be allowed to stay in the assigned subject changing room (L411 or L402) for the duration of the scan. Wireless internet access is available from these rooms (See details below).

9.      Scanner suites will follow social distancing guidelines.

10.  Due to potential increased need for the changing rooms no additional testing will be allowed in these rooms. There are two additional rooms (Mock Scan Room L550A called “Simulator” in scheduler and the Cardiopulmonary Imaging room L445 called “L445-PBDB” in scheduler) that can be booked for this purpose. Please schedule these rooms accordingly so staff know that the rooms are being utilized and can clean the room after use.

11. We ask that if research teams become aware of a research participant who tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of their MRI scan to please let us know.


Hours of operation

Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with extended evening hours during the week and on weekends per request.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email (alan-mccarville@uiowa.edu) or phone 319-335-8706.


Thank You and Stay Safe,

The Magnetic Resonance Research Facility Team.


P.S. UI-Guest Wireless Access Information

Visitors to the University of Iowa (UI) Campus can enjoy free guest wireless service without having to obtain a guest ID.  In Wi-Fi settings on your device select the UI-Guest network. A browser page is displayed upon connection. Confirm the connection to the wireless network and agree to UI-Guest's Terms of Service to begin using the wireless network.

Note: The UI-Guest network is not encrypted.  If personal information such as bank account, credit card, or Social Security numbers will be shared, take precautions to protect data by using Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology and making sure websites are secure (look for HTTPS in the URL). UI-Guest should not be used to access data that is protected by privacy laws such as HIPAA and FERPA. 

Friday, May 29, 2020