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Updated: COVID-19 Pre-Screener

Dear Northwestern Research Community,

The IRB Office has updated the COVID-19 Pre-Screener for pre-screening human research participants and any individual who must accompany the participant before they come on campus for in-person research study visits. Researchers who are not conducting study visits at a clinical facility may use this pre-screening tool when necessary. Researchers conducting study visits at a clinical facility should use the hospital/clinic’s screening protocol.


Significant updates include:

  • Pre-screening research participants in non-clinical spaces is now only necessary when local community transmission levels are high. Pre-screening in non-clinical spaces may be done at the PI’s discretion when community transmission levels are medium or low. Researchers can verify the local transmission level on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • When university guidelines state masking is not required, it is strongly recommended that individuals wear a mask during study visits in areas where distancing is not possible or when local community transmission levels are high.
  • Question 1 now asks if the individual is immunocompromised and has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 3 months.


Please visit the IRB Office COVID-19 Resources webpage that contains resources and guidance specific to conducting human participants research, including the document mentioned above. Reference the Northwestern University: COVID-19 and Campus Updates webpage for all other guidance.


If you have questions about the above in regards to your human research project, please contact the IRB Office at or