COVID 19 UPDATES
VCS Pandemic Response Protocols
Contagion Management and General Hygiene Protocol:
Validated Claim Support is committed to serving the industry and the local community in a safe and efficient manner during these incredibly difficult times. As a direct result of the COVID-19 implications, it is essential that businesses must adapt in order to mitigate the transmission potential for disease in many different ways. VCS has created this general list of procedures and changes which are to be implemented immediately upon reopening.
These sweeping changes are designed to:
- Minimize the risk of transmission between staff members and visitors to the site by reducing capacity by as much as 75%
- Provide the Personal Care industry additional means of testing essential products such as handwashes and sanitizers
- Offer a venue for distribution of hygienic products out free of charge to the local community in an effort to continue to stop the spread
- Minimize the length of time both staff members and visitors spend onsite, further reducing transmission risk
- Reallocating company and facility resources to better suit changing requirements
Reallocation of Designated Facility Space:
C&E 1: Represents old SPF Space: 900 sqft additional Claims and Efficacy with 6 curtained off private medical bays. SPF SUSPENDED.
C&E 2: Represents old safety testing space: 605 sq ft of additional space with 6 curtained off private medical bays. PATCH TESTING SUSPENDED.
Acclimation: RETIRED. Acclimation is now VCS product distribution, and has a plexiglass distribution shield installed at the junction of the hallway (near Small Studio).
Reception: A custom plexiglass Shield has been incorporated
C&E: A custom plexiglass shield has been created for forearm measurements
Photo: A custom freestanding Plexiglass shield has has been added to separate panelists & technician.
Effective immediately, VCS refocuses on skincare, haircare, handwash, cosmetic, and sanitization related product testing. 2,549 square feet are gained for this department by phasing out some product patch testing capabilities, as well as the SPF and UVA testing department. C&E gains a minimum of 12 additional treatment and evaluation bays, with 8 more evaluation only bays in the salon/spa area.
Total expansion and new designation of Claims and Efficacy: 2,549 additional square feet
SPF: 906 sq ft
Wash Room: 730 sq ft
Copy/Break: 605 sq ft
In Vitro: 298 sq ft
This allows VCS to offer our lowest traffic, most specialized work across almost the entirety of our lab facility. C&E 1 and 2 areas both have ceiling mounted, medical grade curtains to separate individual treatment rooms from one another
Additionally, this allows traffic management for all onsite individuals. Designated doors will be used for volunteers and visitors to enter the laboratory, to avoid any two-way hallway traffic. Signs will be posted throughout the lab-space in all access corridors and high traffic areas, designating the required direction of travel. This applies to all staff and all visitors.
Standardized Business Procedures:
- All staff members will be provided with a minimum of 5 cloth face masks, and rubber/nitrile gloves will be worn in all laboratory/testing environments at all times. Gloves will be continuously provided by VCS to each individual department.
- Departments will be responsible to develop their own more detailed glove/hygene protocol.
- 3 additional Hand Sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the laboratory.
- Staff will be issued personal hand sanitizers for their individual use as they change in and out of relevant PPE gear.
- Signs have been posted throughout the site affirming proper personal hygiene and handwash/sanitization principles for both staff and visitors.
- Staff will be required to bring their own lunch and to utilize the company designated break areas to avoid contact with other building tenants until further notice.
- The Reception and Acclimation rooms will no longer be utilized for their intended purposes. In order to best maximize distancing guidelines, staff will escort arrivals to designated, solitary treatment bays protected by medical grade ceiling curtains for acclimation and assessment.
- Reception will implement a temperature check for all personnel and outside visitors arriving onsite.
- Wherever possible, staff will report to the office side and/or work from home.
- Traffic flow signs have been posted throughout the site
- Canfield VISIA System temporarily out of use – transmission risk.
Panelist/Volunteer Facing Requirements:
- VCS will hard stop the capacity onsite to a maximum 25% of maximum, achievable through the elimination of two main testing services: Patch Testing and SPF In Vivo Testing. These particular tests which could require as many as 65+ individuals onsite on any given Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, will be suspended in definitely.
- Panelists will be provided with relevant study and site related procedures prior to physically visiting the site.
- Panelists will be required to arrive onsite wearing gloves and/or a facemask, or they may be denied entry to a study (study dependent). Failure to abide by this rule will be explained during the Informed Consent Process, and may also result in a forfeiture of study related compensation.
- High traffic and long duration tests will be suspended at VCS indefinitely.
- Panelists will have their temperature recorded at the time of arrival. If the temperature is recorded at >99.5 the panelist will be barred from entry into the laboratory space.
- Technicians will have their temperature recorded at the time of arrival. If the temperature is recorded at >99.5 they may be asked to return to work from home.
- Panelists will be given individual, curtained off treatment bays inside of the major testing areas onsite. Testing areas have been expanded by over 400% in order to better space out the people onsite.
- Informed Consent will have an additional step added to review the study requirements with test subjects remotely. Wet Signatures will still be required, and IC will be reviewed one on one onsite with technicians, however the main overview will be completed at home.
- Panelist Registration will occur a full overhaul as noted above, such that wherever possible, panelists complete documentation at home and return accordingly for subsequent evaluations.
- Panelists will be required to wait outside of the lab until their designated time of appointm
Sales and Business Development Procedures:
- VCS will no longer sell SPF or Repeat Insult Patch Tests for completion onsite until a time when it is more safe to do so. Tests will be outsourced to partner labs.
- Where possible, In Vitro methods will be pursued to further minimize human contact requirements.
- Validated Clinical Photography will be utilized in place of VISIA imaging to mitigate transmission risk.
- Study Designs will reflect additional time for recruitment, and must minimize on-site time for all test subjects. This means that “All Day” claims must be re-evaluated.
- Site Visits must be rigorously scheduled such that they do not interfere with onsite traffic and panelist/technician flow.
Secondary Hygiene Procedures:
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VCS will be implementing additional equipment cleaning and sterilization protocol as recommended by our major supplier, Courage and Khazaka.