All New York City (NYC) hospitals had pre-existing fatality management plans and protocols in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that were based on the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner’s (OCME) Biological Incident Surge Plan for Managing In-Hospital Deaths. Given the lessons learned during the initial COVID-19 patient surge, City agencies involved in fatality management operations are revising their plans. Hospitals and health systems are encouraged to similarly update and revise their internal plans.

The Special Considerations document is intended to help hospitals update their plans by drawing attention to specific issues. Separately, the City, OCME, NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM), and other agencies are addressing issues within their plans and processes to improve fatality management operations moving forward.