MIAMI COUNTY — Local funeral homes are making adjustments to daily operations, to varying degrees, in response to the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19.
While the government and Centers for Disease Control are recommending the limit of groups to less than 10, funerals are exempt from this rule as of now.
Hale-Sarver Funeral Home in West Milton, and Frings & Bayliff Funeral Home in Tipp City, are planning to increase sanitation and follow guidelines from the CDC, as well as from the National Funeral Directors Association.
These recommendations include holding private services with close family only for the near foreseeable future; reminding potential visitors to not attend a funeral or visitation if you are sick, have a fever, cough, or have been sick recently; not to hug, shake hands, or in other ways touch other people; to keep distance between yourself and others; wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and try not to touch surfaces.
Additional measures that may be taken on behalf of funeral homes, according to the NFDA, include scaling back direct contact with families and guests (handshakes, hugs, etc.), keeping the front door open (weather permitting), or ensuring a staff member is always availabe to open a door during visitations and services to prevent people from touching the door knob.
Many funeral homes are turning to live-streaming, or recorded, options as a way to allow those who are unable to attend, or feel safer at home, to still be able to experience and view the funeral service of a loved one.
Bridges-Stocker-Fraley Funeral Home in Covington, and Baird Funeral Home in Troy, are offering the live-stream of funerals on the homes’ websites and Facebook pages, if the family of the deceased requests this option. With live-streaming, a service will be viewable on a computer, phone, tablet or other device.
These funeral homes also recommend to limit your time at a funeral or viewing service in order to keep a low number of people within the funeral home at one time, which also allows those in attendance to practice “social distancing.”
Jamieson & Yannucci Funeral Home in Piqua said with respect to formal services and visitations, there has been no order to delay any.
“With all the common sense education the public received during this time, potential visitors that wish to be self-quarantined, or possess health issues, are avoiding these special gatherings,” a recent release by Jamieson & Yannucci states. “The people that do attend are now well aware of safe practices and they practice them. The size and layout of our facility lends itself to enabling guests to adhere to their precautions.”
The release adds that the funeral home has and will continue to offer to record a service onto a DVD for families to distribute as they see fit.
“We are devoting more time with the families we serve to provide them with their options and the pros and cons with each decision,” the release states. “Even a pandemic cannot control the fragile and personal emotional, spiritual, and love family members experience. Funeral homes will continue their mission to the degree to which families require of us and society expects of us.”