Office of the Chief Medical Examiner


March 12, 2020
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) is reaching out due to the questions and inquiries regarding appropriate precautions with handling decedents who are suspected of or have confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19).

The CDC provides guidance specifically for funeral home industries, which can be found here:

Printout of CDC Guidance for Funeral Homes

The OCME is following universal precautions and requiring N95 masks to be worn by OCME staff when handling all decedents, regardless of confirmed COVID-19. It is up to your office or organization to the extent of PPE that is required when handling remains. If you transport to the OCME or pick up a decedent from the OCME, please ensure that you are following your organization’s policy on appropriate personal protective equipment. The OCME does not have personal protective equipment (N95 masks) that is available for your office or organization due to financial constraints.

Would you be able to assist the OCME with distributing this information throughout your organization? This memo includes the same text within this email that can be distributed to the appropriate persons within your organization.

If you should have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Keshia Singleton at 804.786.3174 or

Keshia Singleton
State Project Manager
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

Release Form to Funeral Home
Electronic Cremation Certificate & Additional Information from OCME
Cremation Authorization Requirements for Out-of-State Donor Programs
Local Medical Examiners Authorizing Cremation Need OCME ID

Contact Information

Central District
Phone (804) 786-3174
Fax (804) 371-8595

Tidewater Eastern District
Phone (757) 683-8366
Fax (757) 683-2589

Western District
Phone (540) 561-6615
Fax (540) 561-6619

Northern District
Phone (703) 764-4640
Fax (703) 764-4645