With guidance from government officials, the funeral industry is taking added precautions with regard to Covid-19.
Funerals and viewings have been limited to no more than ten people at any given time. Caution has been placed on guest books, guest-signing boards, and the like with only one person at a time permitted to sign, along with a bottle of hand sanitizer at the registration station. Funeral directors are offering live-streaming services as an option. Funeral proceedings may even be recorded and the video shared with whomever the decedent’s family deems appropriate. While a 15-day precautionary period is currently in place, it’s possible that safety restrictions will continue for an additional eight weeks with limitations on all mass gatherings and large memorial services postponed to a later date.
With regards to decedent remains, many are either being cremated or transferred and embalmed. Body bags that contained transported remains must be disinfected with a product containing EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims. The decedent is properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket. CDC guidance also notes that if “washing the body or shrouding are important religious or cultural practices, families are encouraged to work with their community cultural and religious leaders and funeral home staff on how to reduce their exposure as much as possible. At a minimum, people conducting these activities should wear disposable gloves. If splashing of fluids is expected, additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required (such as disposable gown, face shield or goggles, and facemask).”
VA cemeteries have also been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. As of March 23, 2020, committal services (including military honors) will not be conducted until further notice. Additionally, volunteer honors such as American League and VFW have been discontinued. Cemeteries are open for visitation. Families may choose to have a burial service and observe from a safe distance, though only ten or fewer people permitted, but without honors and without a committal service. Families opting for an immediate burial may choose to have a committal service at a future time.
As this horrific virus continues to hold sway over the global population, people are strongly encouraged to remain quarantined until this crisis is handled.
Now more than ever, it is important to seek options on final disposition and funeral related costs. You must be prepared in advance and know your options while you can. For more information, visit www.sylegacy.net or call (832) 953-4229. If someone you know passes away during this ongoing pandemic, then please call us to help secure an inexpensive burial plot. We are here to service the community and to help one another during this uncertain time.