The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on coroner's offices across the country, but here locally, the Daviess County Coroner's Office in Daviess County, Kentucky, hasn't been handling many COVID-19 deaths in the county.
In Kentucky, coroners are mandated to investigate deaths like drownings, murders, fire-related casualties, and drug overdoses - but with most COVID-19 deaths have occurred in hospitals or long-term care facilities, the patient's doctor most likely fills out the death certificate.
"In the COVID-19 cases, the vast majority of them don't fall under a coroner's requirement to investigate," explained Daviess County Coroner Jeff Jones. "COVID-19 has not drastically impacted us in the process in how we handle our cases, so the amount of volume that is being run through the Louisville office of the medical examiner, they're seeing an increase in cases."
One thing that has changed: investigators and technicians - the people who handle the bodies - are using additional Personal Protective Equipment to protect themselves.