If the decedent is suspected to have had COVID-19, it’s prudent to imagine others within the constructing the place the dying occurred could possibly be contaminated. As well as, whereas physique fluids apart from respiratory secretions haven’t been clearly implicated in transmission of COVID-19, unprotected contact with different physique fluids, together with blood, stool, vomit, and urine, may put the investigator vulnerable to COVID-19 and different infectious illnesses.
- Collect data relating to the circumstances of the dying (as is normal follow) to help within the hazard/threat evaluation, together with threat for doable COVID-19 and whether or not droplets, aerosols, physique fluids, purge, or decomposition supplies have been expelled earlier than or after the dying.
- Plan for and implement bodily distancing measures
- Decrease shut contact with anybody on the scene, together with members of the family, accountable individual(s) of the decedent, and witnesses.
- Prepare to conduct pre-investigation interviews by phone or video convention, if doable.
- If interviews can’t be carried out by phone or different digital means, conduct interviews outdoors the residence or constructing the place the dying occurred or in different out of doors areas. Throughout any in-person interview or different interactions, the investigator ought to follow bodily distancing of a minimum of 6 ft and encourage all individuals being interviewed to do the identical.
- The investigator and people being interviewed ought to put on material face coverings in the course of the in-person interviews, particularly if bodily distancing of 6 ft or extra can’t be maintained. Concentrate on and comply with state and native ordinances relating to use of face coverings.
- If the investigator determines that it’s essential to enter the residence or constructing the place the dying occurred, then you will need to:
- Fastidiously plan gear wanted for the investigation to keep away from bringing pointless objects into the construction. Plan to have further face coverings for family members.
- Arrange separate, designated areas for donning and doffing PPE outdoors the construction. The doffing station ought to be bodily separated from the donning station as a result of used PPE could possibly be contaminated. Be sure that the doffing station has hand sanitizer, disinfectant sprays or wipes, and waste containers or biohazard baggage for used PPE. See Environmental Safety Company (EPA)-approved disinfectants exterior iconto be used towards SARS-CoV-2.
- Inquire if any individuals within the constructing the place the dying occurred are experiencing signs per COVID-19 (which can embody fever, cough, shortness of breath) or have been identified with COVID-19 or are awaiting check outcomes. These people ought to be requested to stay outdoor or in a room of the construction that doesn’t must be accessed in the course of the investigation.
- Ask anybody remaining contained in the construction to put on facemasks or material face coverings and preserve the face protecting on all through the investigation. The investigator also needs to put on a face protecting all through the investigation (see under for additional particulars relating to respiratory safety).
- Alert all individuals within the construction that the investigator can be coming into and ask anybody remaining within the construction to maneuver to a distinct room if doable, or to keep up bodily distancing of a minimum of 6 ft from the investigator.
If on-scene autopsy COVID-19 specimen assortment is deliberate for the decedent, comply with the CDC Steerage for Postmortem Assortment in shut session with the supervising medical expert or coroner.