KQ Coronavirus resources for researchers, businesses and public
Updated 03 August 2020
Here we track the partners opening their doors to the public for the first time since lockdown. Expect restrictions, extra safety measures and advanced ticketing in place. Follow the links for more, before your visit.
- The Foundling Museum is open for visitors since 8 July.
- The Canal Museum is open on Fridays and Saturdays as of 10 July.
- Senate House Library is operating a new click, collect and return service as of 13 July.
- The Wiener Holocaust Library is partially reopen as of 14 July.
- A number of reading rooms will be open at the British Library from 22 July.
- The entirety of the Charles Dickens Museum is open as of 25 July.
- London Metropolitan Archives intends to welcome readers back from 7 September.
- The Wellcome Collection plans to reopen on 7 October.
- Camden Council invites business owners to take part in their latest business survey. Help the Council understand the impact of COVID-19 on your business and inform their future economic re-start and recover plans.
- Camden Council has more guidance online and a helpline you can call if you are struggling with business rates: 020 7974 6460
- Camden Council is taking work experience online, and is seeking more employers to offer the opportunity to local young people. Also, a reminder of their important donation drive for spare technology and devices.
- To help vulnerable students access online learning Camden Council is encouraging businesses in the borough to donate spare laptops and iPads. You can donate any surplus tech here.
- As part of its Commonplace engagements, Camden Council is trying to make the streets of the borough “more liveable and safer” while the coronavirus still poses a threat to public health. You can help identify places across the borough where the Council can make it easier and safer for people to travel locally on foot and by bicycle.
- Islington Council has published its business support survey. If your organisation has been affected by COVID-19, complete this survey. You should also visit their dedicated COVID-19 business support page for the latest updates.
- Islington Council has also announced a discretionary fund for small businesses that do not fit the criteria for one of the business grants but still have ongoing costs. Small businesses in need of marketing and/or up to £250 worth of delivery services via Pedivan email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To support the local economy, Islington Council has created a directory listing the businesses in the borough that are still able to safely operate and trade in one form or another.
- Islington Council will demarcate its first ‘people-friendly streets‘, after Islingtoners told the Council how much they had enjoyed strolling the streets during the pandemic. St Peter’s will be the first ward to experience an 18-month experimental traffic order, with other wards to follow.
- Arup has released Space Explorer – spatial analysis software that allows businesses to analyse how staff move about their spaces, predict the likeliest points of infectious interaction and plan for the safe reoccupation of a building.
- Working with the National Association of Head Teachers, the Anna Freud Centre has published guidance and recommendations to help schools support their pupils whose mental health and well-being may have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Please help support the use of appropriate face coverings by downloading and sharing this infographic from the British Medical Association in your organisations and on social media.
- An advisory group, including a strong cohort of UCL academics, has published the report ‘Preparing for a challenging winter 2020/21‘, which models what to expect in the coming months with the coronavirus in the UK. The modelling indicates that January and February 2021 may be worse than the wave of hospitalizations seen earlier in the spring. The report lays out a series of recommendations for heading off this severe winter spike in infections.
- A clinical trial co-led by the Francis Crick Institute and UCL will study the potential of cystic fibrosis drug, Dornase alfa, to reduce hyper-inflammation in the lungs, a fatal immune response triggered by COVID-19.
- Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have found 27 protein biomarkers present in different quantities in individuals infected with COVID-19, depending on the severity of their condition. Testing for these proteins could provide doctors with an early-warning system of a patient’s condition. The researchers also suggest that it may be possible to find drugs that alleviate symptoms associated with the identified proteins.
- Interferon lambda, the instrumental proteins in the body’s anti-viral response and currently employed in clinical trials as a potential treatment for COVID-19, may have an adverse affect on lung tissue repair, according to new research out of the Francis Crick Institute.
- Using cryo-electron microscopy, researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have discovered key differences between the spiked proteins of SARS-Cov-2 and those of similarly structured bat viruses – a difference which gives the SARS-CoV-2 about a 1,000-fold tighter binding properties to the receptor in humans. The team’s observations also support the theory that the virus was not passed to humans directly from bats, but through another intermediate host.
- Results of a small clinical trial with barcinitib, the drug used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis and identified by Benevolent AI‘s algorithms as a potential treatment for SARS-CoV-2, support expanded clinical studies. According to the paper recently published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, “baricitinib treatment was associated with clinical and radiologic recovery, a rapid decline in SARS ‐CoV‐2 viral load, inflammatory markers, and IL ‐6 levels.”
- Most immunosuppressants taken to treat Rheumatism do not increase the risk of hospitalisation from COVID-19, according to a large study led by UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and UCL Centre for Rheumatology.
- The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have collaborated on a document of principles and recommendations for the “reset of outpatient services”. The series of measures stress the use of new technologies so that care is provided on the basis of outcomes for patients, rather than levels of face-to-face activity that put the patient at risk of catching COVID-19.
- The Royal College of Physicians (RCP), with Public Health England, has published guidance on the safest level of PPE to protect medical staff and specifies the type of PPE that should be worn in various healthcare settings.
- UCL research into the UK’s only ‘COVID-free’ surgical site at UCLH suggests that it is safe to perform important surgeries during the pandemic at special facilities. Monitoring the health of 500 patients who underwent cancer operations at the site between 5 March and 22 April (during the height of coronavirus admissions), the researchers found that only two per cent of patients had subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 after 30 days, while no deaths were reported.
- Arup has produced CareBox, a downloadable set of designs and procedures for the rapid deployment of a range of modular pop-up wards, or ‘plug-in hospitals’. While the drop in ICU admissions has given hospitals some respite, temporary infrastructure projects could be prepared in advance of a potential second wave of cases.
- The Francis Crick Institute has produced a set of downloadable Standard Operating Procedures for undertaking COVID-19 testing. The procedures cover five stand-alone work streams in a diagnostic pipeline, allowing for an agile approach that can make use of lab-space distributed across a research institution.
- The British Library and the Crick have ramped up support for testing. As many as 300 scientists have refocussed their work to carrying out essential diagnostic tests in the lab. And a new drive-through swabbing facility for NHS staff is in operation at the British Library.
- The Coronavirus Global Response fund recently met Wellcome‘s initial target sum of $8 billion to fund the research and development of a vaccine. Meanwhile, Wellcome‘s on-going COVID-Zero campaign has raised $600 million to date from among businesses.
- Camden Council is leading a quartet of London local authorities that have received additional funding to share best practice and develop plans to control local coronavirus outbreaks using the Government’s ‘test and trace’ service.
- UCL researchers have launched ‘Virus Watch’, a large data study monitoring how easily and in what manner the virus spreads. The team were awarded funding by the UK Research and Innovation, after responding to the recent call for innovative COVID-19 research projects.
- EIT Digital announces two large funding opportunities as part of its “DATA against COVID-19 program”. A total of €15 million will be awarded to digital deep tech start-ups and SMEs that offer innovative responses to the crisis.
- The Alan Turing Institute has repurposed its work on London’s air quality to provide policy makers with a near-real time picture of activity across London. Project “Odysseus” will generate historic profiles of activity, using multiple data sources, and measure these against a map of current activity to understand how effectively the lockdown and the steps to withdraw from it are working. (Those interested in how data and AI is being harnessed to unriddle the pandemic, and the implications on privacy protection, can sign up to ATI’s webinar on the subject on Thursday 28 May.)
- Researches from the Alan Turing Institute have been advising NHSx on the contact tracing app in use on the Isle of Wight. The researchers have been looking at the problem of accurately estimating health risks associated with distance the between a symptomatic user’s app alerting another user within Bluetooth range. Here’s a brief update of their work and a paper currently under review.
- The Alan Turing Institute is working with the Royal Society on the Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic (RAMP) initiative, leading on urban and social simulation models. RAMP is a large network of volunteer data modellers advising government.
- Researchers at the Alan Turing Institute recently published Ethical guidelines for COVID-19 tracing apps, a series of sixteen ethical questions, based on the successes and limitations of existing digital contact tracing measures around the world, that should be foremost in the minds of developers and government officials planning to launch such an app.
- Braving a holiday abroad this summer? The British Medical Association has produced a very helpful guidance poster to help you travel safely. You can download it and take it on holiday with you.
- The BMJ hosted the first meeting of the NHS Race and Health Observatory on 12 June to discuss the course ahead. BMJ guest editors of the landmark issue Racism in Medicine, published in February, hailed the new Observatory as “a significant step further forward in terms of achieving an end to race inequalities in health and health care.”
- From the BMJ‘s Coronavirus Hub read an informative overview on the effectiveness of local lockdowns, such as we have seen in Leicester, where the data gaps exist, and how they are being implemented around the world.
- Newest partner The Physiological Society has developed a range of resources on COVID-19, including: a brilliant community-led Q&A page on the various physiological effects of the virus; free access to relevant research papers published in The Journal of Physiology and Experimental Physiology; and a series of free webinars for scientific authors and researchers under lockdown.
- The Institute of Physics has a handy COVID-19 resource hub, where you can find the latest free journal articles and related research from the physics community.
- Researchers can make use of Springer Nature‘s new digital library tool that catalogues the most recent published research on all aspects of the coronavirus. And you can also read about how AI was used to develop this tool here.
- The pandemic has sped up a revolution in open access publishing. Funding agencies, including the Wellcome Trust, supporting the open-access (OA) initiative ‘Plan S’ have announced a Rights Retention Strategy that could make it easier for researchers to publish in their journal of choice, bypassing restrictions on open access. Here’s a good breakdown of its significance in Nature.
- The RCP launches #doctorsdiaries, an open call for stories from the medical staff working on the frontlines of COVID-19. Individual stories of “resilience, hardship, positivity and pride of being at the centre of this pandemic” will be stitched together in an instructive documentary toolkit for medical staff and patients.
- The RCP had been pushing the government to exempt international NHS and social care staff, including their spouses and dependents, from the International Health Surcharge, in recognition of the vital role they played in the frontline response to COVID-19. Commenting on the Government’s u-turn on the issue, Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the RCP, said: ‘We are delighted to see the government have paid heed to our calls for health and social care staff to be exempt from the immigration health surcharge. It has never made sense to make the very people whose jobs it is to care for our nation pay inordinate charges to access care. But the government’s job isn’t done yet.’
- A fourth survey from the RCP found just 10 per cent of its members in a state of readiness to resume normal clinical practices, i.e. pre-COVID-19 practices. On the bright side, testing for COVID-19 continues to improve with 97 per cent of respondents saying they were able to access a test. Read more of the survey results.
- The Royal Veterinary College is undertaking a survey to investigate the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on cat and dog owners, the relationship they have with their pets, as well as quality of life for pets and pet behaviour. If you have cat or dog, you can take part in the survey here.
- Another survey you can take part in: University of London has initiated a global survey to confirm one of the most widely cited symptoms of the coronavirus – loss of smell. UoL‘s Centre for Study of Senses (yes, that really exists) is leading on the survey, in which you, or someone you’d like to share this with, can participate anonymously here.
- Google is expanding the Google News Initiative to support local news outlets and online journalists, while the pandemic means services remain in demand but revenues continue to fall – the expansion includes new international workshops and programmes aimed at, among other things, spotting COVID-19 misinformation and boosting ad sales.
- Central Saint Martins has been challenging its student and staff to make washable fabric face masks for the general public and scrubs for NHS workers. The university has created comprehensive guidelines for making scrubs, which other organisations might wish to download.
- Latest findings extracted from UCL‘s ongoing research into life under lock down show a severe strain in our personal relationships. A quarter of respondents report a decline in relationships with colleagues, and roughly 20 per cent of respondents believe their relationships with the people they live with, including partners and children, have worsened.
- You can now download and read a summary report of Art Fund‘s research into how the arts and heritage sector has been affected by the coronavirus and how funding bodies can best support the sector, and in which 85 per cent of those surveyed were concerned about how to encourage visitors back into the building once they re-opened.
- Following this survey of the museums and galleries sector, Art Fund has announced a major revision to its funding programme, making more than £2 million available in support for re-opening and beyond, through its Respond and Reimagine Grants and strategic partnerships.
- Zoom gloom: Reflecting on some fascinating research, City, University of London‘s Professor André Spicer describes the various ways in which we are not yet emotionally or mentally equipped to handle a life of video conference calls.
- Mansplaining: Academics at City, University of London found that in March media coverage of the coronavirus “nearly three times as many expert men as women were interviewed. This is a much higher ratio than usual.”
- The Anna Freud Centre has published online a wealth of guidance and resources to support young people’s mental health in this period of disruption and uncertainty.
- A new series of blogs from children’s mental health experts at the Anna Freud Centre will consider the psychological and emotional effects of the pandemic on children, and the strategies and opportunities available to look after them.
- Aga Khan Foundation UK has distilled its educational work in 18 different countries into a curated support pack to help families navigate the online educational resources available for children learning from home.
- A new issue of The Stay at Home Garden pack from Global Generation features an abundance of colourful new creative activities for your children.
- The latest coronavirus community response newsletter from Somers Town Community Association can be accessed via Google drive here. Please read for volunteering and donation ideas, and for the latest on the work being done by Camden Mobile Food Bank, We Are Ageing Better, Global Generation and the STCA Living Centre.