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The unfortunate loss of loved ones has not changed during the Covid-19 pandemic but how funerals are being conducted has changed in order to comply with the federal and provincial Covid-19 restrictions. The restrictions in place make an already difficult scenario even more difficult with the worry of infection, especially for the most at risk people. Implementing restrictions means people can safely grieve the loss of their loved ones while being confident of their safety from infection.
In collaboration with community, religious leaders and funeral professionals, the center for disease control and prevention has come up with guidelines for making funeral services as safe as possible. Here we will explain these restrictions and the guiding principles behind them.
Virtual funerals pose the lowest risk due to the complete separation of individuals. For those most at risk, virtual attendance is the safest option.
When virtual attendance is not an option and in-person attendance is compulsory, ensuring small outdoor gatherings are the next best thing. Although infection is still a possibility, being outdoors, spaced 6-feet apart and wearing masks with a small group of people is safer than indoor alternatives.
Potential for infection is also reduced by limiting the small group of attendees to local people and avoiding people travelling from another locality.
Large groups make distancing more difficult both indoor and outdoor. The frequency of touched surfaces also increases all leading to a likely chance of infection.
The CDC have evidence of group infections as a result of a funeral gathering.
Funeral directors can provide you with options to change traditional funeral services to accommodate Covid-19 related safety measures. Here are some non-traditional options you may wish to consider:
Persons who died of Covid-19 can be buried or cremated as usual. Restrictions only apply to the handling of the body which is more relevant for the funeral home than the family of the deceased. Discuss these with the funeral director.
If you have any questions about Covid-19 precautions at funerals, contact Zentner Funeral Homes Ltd. for more information.