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Thank you for your interest in learning more about this study. Please read the following information to learn about participating. Then click the link to get started.

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) are partnering with the public to better understand the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

We are recruiting study participants to complete brief online questionnaires daily for the over next several months. The questionnaires will be sent to participants by email or text message from Oracle, one of our study partners.

The questionnaires will ask participants about any symptoms they have had related to COVID-19, possible exposures to COVID-19 and health care visits due to the disease. Some study volunteers may also be asked to complete an at in-home tests kit to test for the virus that causes COVID-19 and for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. A test kit with full instructions will be provided for the antibody blood tests.

The study is available to ANY interested members of the general public who are aged 18 years and older, living in Maryland or the surrounding states.

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Questions or having difficulty enrolling into the study? Study staff are available to answer your questions about this research study and can be reached by phone at 1-855-559-1861 or via email at info@covid19communitystudy.org

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine are partnering with the public to better understand the spread of COVID-19. Study participants will complete short online questionnaires over several months about possible exposures to COVID-19, symptoms, and health care visits. Some volunteers may be asked to complete an in-home test kit to test for the virus that causes COVID-19 and for antibodies to COVID-19.

What is a research study?

Research studies are designed to gain scientific knowledge that may help people in the future.

Please take your time in making your decision as to whether or not you wish to participate in this research study. You may also discuss this study and your decision to participate with your friends and family. If you have questions about the study, you can reach a member of the study team at 1-855-559-1861 or by emailing info@covid19communitystudy.org

What is the purpose and goal of this study?

As you are aware, the coronavirus pandemic is a public health emergency. By understanding the spread of the virus, who is at greatest risk and the conditions that put people at risk, researchers can help the medical community develop strategies to fight it. The goal of this study is to collect information about the community’s COVID-19 exposures, symptoms, and health care visits due to the disease. If you are a health care worker, the study will collect information on your use of personal protective equipment.

There is no cost to you 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 your research information.

The research study cannot provide medical care or COVID-19 testing if you become sick. The questionnaires and at-home testing kits are for researc

If you have questions, please contact 1-855-559-1861 or email Info@covid19communitystudy.org

Who can participate?

This study is available to anyone aged 18 years and above who lives in Maryland or the surrounding states.

What is involved in the study?

Every day, for the next several months, you will receive a link to complete a very brief questionnaire. It takes less than 30 seconds, and you can answer the questions from the comfort and safety of your own home using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The study will continue as long as there are concerns about the pandemic in our region and your continued participation is important. However, you can choose to stop receiving the questionnaires at any time.

The questionnaire will cover the following:

  • Your COVID-19 illness history or symptoms
  • Your use of personal protective equipment (PPE) - such as face masks and coverings
  • Your contact with others who have tested positive for COVID-19
  • If you are a health care worker
  • If you have received a vaccine for COVID-19 or participated in a COVID-19 vaccine trial

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

If you are a UMMS patient, we will connect your daily questionnaire responses with your medical record. The goal is to better understand your general health, any health care visits, hospital stays, medical procedures or lab results you have and how they impact any COVID-19 symptoms you have had or are experiencing.

Some study participants may also be asked to complete at home tests for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. A test kit with full instructions will be provided for the antibody tests. 

What happens if I click to enroll in the study?

If you decide to participate, you will first read the informed consent and provide your electronic signature.

Informed consent is important because it:

  • Describes the study
  • Explains why the study is being done
  • Describes what is expected from you
  • Describes the risks and benefits of taking part
  • Explains how to contact the study team with questions

If you read the informed consent and decide that you do not want to participate in the study, that is OK. Please do not sign the consent form if you do not want to participate.

If you read the informed consent and decide that you do want to participate in the study, then you will be asked to complete a few additional questions. These questions include:

  • Your interest in taking part in the at-home testing and storage of those samples for later testing
  • Your name, address, date of birth, email address, and cell phone number
  • Whether you are a UMMS patient, and if so, whether you have received care in the last 3 months,
  • Your preference for receiving your daily questionnaire via email or test message

To be enrolled in the study you must complete all of these questions.

Within 24-72 hours of enrolling in the study you will receive an email or text with a link to complete your online registration for the daily questionnaire with our technical partner Oracle.

If you chose to receive your daily questionnaire by text message you will receive a text that states: “Welcome to Oracle COVID-19 Health Management System” and provides a unique link to the webpage https://covid19-rx.org.

If you chose to receive you daily questionnaire by email you will receive a welcome message from: “COVID-19 Patient Monitoring System”.

The link you receive from Oracle is unique to you and should not be shared with anyone else.

From here, you will be asked to validate your personal information. This completes your enrollment into the study.

Option to participate in at-home testing study

Some participants may also be asked to complete an in-home test kit for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). You can decide to only complete questionnaires or you can let us know if you are interested in participating in the at-home testing. Due to limited availability of test kits, not all participants who express interest in the at-home testing will be invited to participate.

If you agree and are selected to participate in the at-home testing, you will be asked to complete tests every 1 to 2 months to detect antibodies to the virus. At-home testing requires a finger prick for placing a sample of your blood on a collection card. Your kit will include instructions for how to package the collection card in an enclosed mailer and return it via FedEx. We are using the Euroimmun test kit for sample blood collection. You can watch a short video demonstrating the blood collection technique here.

The at-home testing does not diagnose COVID-19 and is for research purposes only.

Will I still be allowed to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I participate in this study?

Participating in this study does not prevent you from getting the vaccine nor will it help you get the vaccine. Everyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine should do so as soon as they can.

I do not think I have had COVID-19 or I have no symptoms, does this study apply to me?

You do not need to have been exposed or have had symptoms of COVID-19 to participate in the study. Any information you provide in the daily surveys can help us answer key questions about the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

My survey link is expired. What do I do?

There are two messages you receive from Oracle:

  1. Invitation to get started in Oracle and set up your account:
    • This link expires after 36 hours.If you miss the window to get started or you are having issues validating your information, call 1-855-559-1861 or email info@covid19communitystudy.org and a study team member will assist you.
  2. The daily survey email:
    • This link expires after 24 hours.You receive the link to the daily survey every day. If your link is expired, please wait for the next survey link to be sent to you.

 

 

I have not received an email or text to start the daily surveys. What do I do?

If you have requested to receive your daily questionnaire by email, please check your spam or junk folder.

If you have not received an email or text message to start the daily questionnaire, it is possible there was an issue with your enrollment. Please call 443-457-3548 or email COVID19-RX@som.umaryland.edu and we would be glad to help you resolve the issue.

I cannot find the email reminder today. What happened?

Please check your spam or junk folder. If you have checked your spam folder and still have not found an email, please call 855-559-1861 or email info@covid19communitystudy.org for more help.

Who can answer my questions?

Questions about this research study can be answered by the study call center by calling 1-855-559-1861 or emailing info@covid19communitystudy.org. Study staff are available 7 AM to 7 PM Eastern Time Monday through Friday to help answer your questions.

Who else is taking part in this study?

This study is part of the COVID-19 Community Research Partnership. We are working together with the following partners:

  • WakeForest Baptist Health
  • WakeMed
  • Atrium Health
  • New Hanover
  • Vidant Health
  • Campbell University
  • MedStar Health
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • New Orleans area health network – Tulane University site

Together we are working to fight COVID-19.

Who has enrolled so far?

Our goal is to enroll a representative sample of participants from our region in this research study, with particular interest in racial and ethnic minority groups since these groups have been seriously impacted. The data below reflects study participation since the study began.

Study Enrollment

So far more than 3,000 participants have enrolled in the study and together they have completed more than 16,000 daily questionnaires.

Chart showing the number of people who enrolled in the study

Race and Ethnicity of Participants

We recognize that people of color continue to be underrepresented in research, including this study. We are working to partner with community leaders and organizations to spread the word about this study and raise awareness about COVID-19. Since African American and Latinx communities are greatly affected by COVID-19, we are working to increase representation of these community members. We want to ensure we have adequate data to better understand how COVID-19 is affecting all of our community members, especially those most impacted.

As you can see from this graphic, we need to enroll more people of color. Please help us spread the word. If you would like to help us spread the word about this study, please get in touch at COVID19-RX@som.umaryland.edu.

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