In early March, after a state of emergency was declared, Colorado’s legislature adjourned about half-way into the session. With phases of Safe From Home in place, Colorado’s legislature is scheduled to reconvene 05/18/2020 and finish the legislative session. During this crisis the licensing agency, Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) classified Private Investigators as ‘non-critical’ or ‘non-essential’ and with the most restricted travel and business mandates.
The state health department (CDPHE) had some flexibility. Believing DORA did not have the authority to supersede CDPHE, the PPIAC Legislative Committee (of which Dean is a member) immediately went to work under the leadership of Robert Orozco (Chair) and sent a letter to DORA. As of 04/30/2020 DORA no longer included PIs under any classification of restricted business activities. At the same time, as Colorado transitioned to the Safer at Home phase, members of the committee were discussing steps to make sure members / PIs, clients, and the public we interacted with would have safe practices recommendations. We learned, through our re-classification efforts, CDPHE re-classified PIs with guidelines for Office and Field Services. This is an important win by PPIAC for all Colorado PIs. Our agency has drafted a policy for compliance with new CDPHE guidelines. We hope the following, from the CDPHE required of all Colorado PIs, may assist you. Be sure and check with your state and local requirements, and consult legal advice as may be necessary. The following is not legal advice.
We suggest having a HIPAA and state health department compliant form for all personal interactions with clients and the public (witnesses, etc.). In addition to compliance, there are two additional considerations: 1) liability insurance may require compliance and additional guidelines; and 2) if there is any exposure this will assist with state and CDC contact tracing programs. Any compliance forms should be signed and dated by all parties. These forms should be copied to the case file, and a compliance folder for the agency.
This policy is effective for all assignments and interactions involving personal contact. This is in compliance with current Colorado Department of Health & Environment (CDPHE), and Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies / Private Investigators (DORA). Local county and city orders may supersede these and will be applicable as noted.
For each in-office or field personal contact, the following should be documented by the investigator and other person(s).
- Are you, or have you recently been, symptomatic or in contact with known positive cases?
- Adhere to all general rules or guidance on social gathering limitations when working in the field, or person’s business or home.
- This in-person meeting was of no more than 10 people. (initials of person requesting in-person meeting)
- Maintained a 6-foot distance from between persons.
- Gloves and face coverings or masks were offered for any personal interactions.
- Any provided PPE was properly collected or disposed of.
This should be signed and dated, with location noted, by all persons.
Reminder - Be sure and check with your state and local requirements, and consult legal advice as may be necessary. The following is not legal advice.