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Tippecanoe County Coroner adjusting methods amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Tippecanoe County Coroner's Office is closed indefinitely

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 8:17 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Tippecanoe County Coroner's Office is closed indefinitely. Coroners will only perform autopsies at the facility for homicide cases and-or children. They'll be relying on external injuries or medical history to determine the cause of death. This comes in an effort to protect themselves against any potential coronavirus exposure.

Coroner Donna Avolt said not being able to interact with the families is the hardest part. She says families get a sense of comfort from the Coroner when they're dealing with the loss of a loved one.

“80 to 90 percent of the folks, the families that we deal with, we'll never see them again. I miss that part of it. Remember, we are their last best friend and we only get one chance to do it right.” said Avolt.

Coroner Donna Avolt said the job often requires them to work remotely so not using the facility is not going to really impact their job.

“The only thing that it did impact was being able to use our autopsy suite for autopsies," said Avolt. " I'm sure it's a learning curb for the rest of the department, fortunately, I work with fantastic people.”

County coroners performed an external-only autopsy on a person involved in a car crash this weekend. They were able to determine the cause of death based on his injuries

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