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COVID-19: Script for Screening and Informing Study Participants


The following is a script to use to inform clinical research participants coming to any Penn State Health or Penn State College of Medicine location of COVID-19 safety processes. Study teams should call patients up to three days prior to the study visit. The message can be tailored based on the study participant.

On the day of the visit

A study team member should meet the patient at the appropriate entrance screening station in case there are any issues. It will also help the screening stations validate that a visitor is needed for the participant.


Hello, this is (name) with the department of (department name) at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. I’m calling today because you have a research study visit scheduled on (day of week), (month, day) at (time). I have important information regarding this visit. You may want to have a pen and paper nearby to take notes.

(Give study participant time to get paper if needed.)

Penn State Health is taking all precautions necessary to protect our patients, staff and community. Before coming to campus, it is important to report to us if you are experiencing:

  • 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

Your visit will need to be rescheduled if you have these symptoms.

When coming to campus, please wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, you will be provided a disposable one at the hospital entrance. It is important to know that additional visitors are not allowed in the building at this time. Caregivers needed at all times or to help with transit are permitted. Will you have someone attending with you who is a caregiver?

(Notate this as screeners will verify with the unit.)

If someone drives you to the campus, they will have to wait in the vehicle.

Please park in the Centerview Parking Garage and use the shuttle service to the (entrance name; the Clinical Research Center is the North Entrance, otherwise state appropriate screening entrance).

When entering the building, you will be screened by hospital nursing staff. If there is a line, please keep at least six feet apart from others. Your temperature will be taken by a touchless thermometer and you will be asked if you are experiencing symptoms and why you are visiting the hospital. If you have a caregiver, they will also be screened and the screener will verify with us that your caregiver is approved for the visit.

One of our team members will meet you at the screening area and walk you to the visit location. If you have any issues entering the building and a study member is not yet at the entrance, please call us at (phone number).

During your visit, we will keep appropriate social distancing by limiting the number of staff you come in contact with. We will be masked appropriately and gloved during all procedures. We will also follow proper hand-washing and disinfectant guidelines, as we do for all studies. Our entire study team is screened daily upon entering the building in the same way you will be for your visit.

(If study involves more than one participant from different households, state the following.)

Please note that this study involves interaction with other individuals and you may be in close contact with
other participants with unknown vaccination status.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this difficult time. We appreciate your commitment to our research study. Do you have any questions I can answer for you?

(When done answering questions, state the following.)

Thank you again, (patient name). We will see you on (day). Please call us if you have any questions before your visit.

Printable copies

If necessary, a copy of the script may be printed here. However, note that this is subject to change; study teams should bookmark this page and check it before making any calls to get the most up-to-date language.


Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute resources were used to create this document. The institute is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through Grant UL1 TR002014.

Last updated

Sept. 1, 2021