Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Participants

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2020), people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. 1

How is COVID-19 spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads very easily between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more easily than influenza, making it highly contagious. 2

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, typically via small droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or can possibly be inhaled into the lungs. 3

Being in close proximity to an infected person for a prolonged period of time (usually within 6 feet for 10 minutes) can put you at a higher risk of infection (CDC, 2020). 4

Virus particles can also settle on surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, and drinking glasses, or be transmitted through contact via shaking hands or hugging. 5

How is the SHARE Lab protecting participants and lab personnel from COVID-19?

The SHARE Lab is committed to the health of our research participants and staff. We’ll be strictly adhering to CDC guidelines and the Southern Methodist University’s guidelines and recommendations 6 to ensure that our research activities are safe for everyone involved.

Lab Space:

  • Prior to welcoming you to our lab space, we complete a thorough sanitation protocol to disinfect lab equipment and heavily touched surfaces. 7
  • The lab space is also checked regularly to ensure proper ventilation, reducing the likelihood of spread (Morawska et al., 2020).

Lab Members:

  • Our research team is trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. In accordance with SMU guidelines, before coming to the lab, team members are required to:
  • Self-screen for any symptoms of respiratory illness – cough, fever, muscle aches, shortness of breath.
  • Any team member who feels ill will be required to stay at home and your visit will be rescheduled. (If this were to happen, please be understanding of the short notice cancellation as we want to do our absolute best in ensuring yours and our research team’s safety).
  • Staff members will also wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times for your protection and their own.
  • Our research team members will maintain 6-foot distance when there is no need for contact


  • You will undergo two COVID-19 phone screenings before your visit.
  • When you arrive for your study visit, a team member will measure your temperature and ask screening questions before escorting you to the lab space.
  • Participants must wear a mask when research team members are present. 8  Masks are important to wear because COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not know they are sick. 9
  • Due to the nature of our study visits, our research team members will have to be in direct contact with you for certain activities, e.g., when taking blood pressure, collecting blood spots, etc. During these activities, our research team members will use a plexiglass barrier to reduce any spread of droplets. 

What steps can I take to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you or your partner appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath), sneezing, and/or fever OR if you or your partner has come in contact with someone who has these symptoms within the past 14 days. We must take necessary precautions to protect the health of all participants and lab members, and hence, would need to reschedule your visit if that is the case.

Here is more information on what to do if you are sick. Find out when you can safely be around others after being sick with COVID-19.

You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. For this reason, we require all research team members and participants to wear a mask. Here is additional information on how to wear cloth face coverings. In case you do not have a mask, our lab will provide you one.

Remember that the face mask is not a substitute for social distancing. 10 Please keep maximum distance between yourself and others when you come into our lab space.

What if I and/or my partner come up with symptoms after scheduling a visit?     

If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms (listed above), you might have COVID-19. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. More information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 is available on the CDC website.

 If you have symptoms or you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms, please notify us as soon as possible by calling our lab phone at (214) 768-2399 or by email at Thank you for working with us to keep everyone healthy!

Again, remember that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. In either case, please notify us as soon as possible by calling our lab phone at (214) 768-2399. We will work with you to find a better time for you to come in!

COVID-19 Consent Form: COVID-19 Consent Form