Filming COVID-19 patients in hospitals, homes or with emergency services is being done but requires a thorough risk assessment, specialist training and a series of strict precautionary measures to mitigate and minimise risk.
Ensure the team is up for it and up to it
Once you have established editorial justification for the assignment, selecting the team is as important as in any high-risk environment.
Any such assignments must be entirely voluntary and anyone considered at greater risk for any reason should be ruled out.
Because of the possibility of infecting family members, the decision-making has an added layer of complexity.
The team should also consider – and discuss with their family – the possibility that after the assignment, they may have to self-isolate in separate accommodation for two weeks. Access to COVID-19 testing will resolve this issue at least partially.
A team with experience, grounded personalities and full appreciation of the risks involved is vital in this specific case, where extreme and precise care with handling PPE is essential to guarantee safety.
Team cohesion and mutual trust is also highly desirable as the crew will have to operate as a family unit and won’t realistically be able to keep any distance from one another.
That’s particularly true if traveling, as your team may be stranded and have to remain abroad for extended periods of time. Hotels are no longer operating, nor are they the safest option. In highly affected areas and the team may have to share private accommodation.
By International News Safety Institute