NFDA Announces New Guidelines for Funerals During COVID-19 Pandemic
The importance of having a funeral to honor the deceased and giving loved ones an opportunity to celebrate that life and begin to grieve is unquestioned. While NFDA is deeply committed to promoting the value of a funeral, the unprecedented novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic requires this profession to balance our long-held values with the need to: flatten the curve of the pandemic; protect the health of attendees, funeral home staff and clergy/celebrant; and reduce the potential for community spread and mass-fatalities.
Unless your state’s guidelines are more restrictive, NFDA strongly recommends that, until further notice, funerals be limited to no more than 10 of the decedent’s immediate family members; this does not include funeral home staff, the clergy/celebrant or cemetery staff. NFDA also recommends services be held at the gravesite whenever possible; however, the nature of the disposition, such a cremation, may mean a service in the funeral home is more appropriate. Funeral homes should also encourage attendees to follow current social distancing guidelines by setting up seating accordingly.
As with any gathering or event, you should check with local health officials to determine whether there are prohibitions on holding public gatherings. Some states or cities have restricted public gatherings; these restrictions take precedence. Local cemeteries may also have their own guidelines.
Webcasting, FaceTiming or live-streaming should also be used for the arrangement conference and/or funeral to help with social distancing and possible infection of the families and funeral home staff. It is also an excellent option as it offers a way for those who cannot be physically present at a service to still partake in the event.
Our facility is taking the following preventative measures and have adopted these practices as recommended by the CDC and the NFDA. Here is a list of what we are doing and recommendations for family members who come into our facility to help to control the spread of the Coronavirus