Arranging a Funeral During the Coronavirus — Things to Know
If you’re planning a funeral during the current pandemic, your funeral director should follow the latest instructions from the National Funeral Directors Association and the CDC. Social distancing will be practiced during visitations and funerals. But there are things to be mindful of when you make the actual funeral arrangements. Here are some expectations and questions to ask your funeral director.
What to Expect When Arranging a Funeral
Whether you would like a small, large, or family-only gathering, your funeral director should be taking extra precautions when helping you plan arrangements.
- When you speak to your funeral director, he or she will most likely ask: “Is anyone feeling ill?” and “Is anyone known to have been exposed to the virus?” If so, the director will ask that those folks stay home or join the conversation via Zoom.
- The director may also ask you to restrict the number of people who join you at the funeral home for the arrangement meeting. Other family members can participate in the live video stream or Facetime.
- For everyone’s safety, avoid handshakes and wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer) when you arrive at the funeral home and before you leave. You will also likely be required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing requirements of six feet at all times.
- The funeral director may forgo an in-person meeting and ask to make the arrangements through video conferencing.
- Your director should tell you about local, state, and federal orders and suggestions, and local cemeteries’ guidelines that may impact your funeral arrangements.
If your loved one has passed away from complications due to COVID-19, your funeral director will take additional precautions when handling and preparing the body. If you’ve decided to embalm your loved one’s body, talk to your funeral director about any private instruction they may be following.
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Questions to Ask Your Funeral Director
What Are My Options if I Can’t Have the Funeral I Want?
If you’re limited to having immediate family at a funeral or if local restrictions keep you from having even a small one, speak with your funeral director about your options for a delayed or future memorial service.
Are Webcasting Services Available?
Many funeral homes prepare to host a web service for guests who cannot attend in person. With this option, you can invite friends and family to tune in from the convenience of their homes.
How Is the Funeral Home Limiting Exposure to the Virus?
Your funeral home should adhere to all CDC guidelines to protect you, your family, and their staff. Safety is paramount at this time. Your funeral director can notify you about the specific preventative measures they’re taking.
Should I Be Concerned About Attending the Funeral of a Person Who Has Died of the Virus?
At this time, CDC guidance declares: There is currently no known risk resulting from being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of a person who died of COVID-19.
But, the CDC also states, “People should consider not touching the body of someone who has died of COVID-19.”
In other words, use common sense. You can visit the CDC’s website for more on funeral guidance during this time.
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