Covid-19 Guidance for Funeral Homes

March 25, 2020

Covid-19 Guidance for Funeral Homes
Randolph County Health Department

The following recommendations for funeral directors come from guidance by the CDC, the NFDA, and the President’s Coronavirus guidelines for America. More detailed recommendations regarding handling of bodies, and requirements for returning family member’s bodies from overseas can be found at Visitations and Funerals
• Meet with just one or two family members for planning
• Remind families at the planning session to encourage people who are ill to stay home, or if an at-risk population (heart disease, immune compromised, elderly) to consider staying home.
• Limit groups to 10 people at a time (9 family members and the Funeral Director)
• Consider live streaming or video to reach a broader group who wishes to see the funeral
• Ask every person to wash hands and /or use hand sanitizer upon entering building.
• Arrange for different viewing times to accommodate families that have more than 9 persons in the family to allow limited groups of 10
• Space chairs 6 feet apart
• Advise against the touching of bodies
• Provide interspersed hand sanitizer, facial tissues, and small trash receptacles. Advise everyone to cover their nose, immediately throw away the tissue, and use hand sanitizer each time their face is touched.
• Sanitize the chairs, and frequently touched areas and objects between groups.
• Have a staff member at the entry door to minimize touching of the doorknob• Scale back direct contact (e.g. hugs and handshakes) and practice social distancing
• Post CDC informational flyers (e.g. “How to stop the spread of germs”) and remind families how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 such as staying home if you are sick, social distancing (6 feet), washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes Transfers and Embalming
• Transfer bodies in a body bag and disinfect the bag with a product that contains EPA-approved emerging viral pathogen claims.
• If it is necessary to transfer a body to a bag, follow standard precautions:
• This would include gloves and gown
• If splashing of fluids is possible, then also include face mask and eye protection (goggles or face shield)
• Disinfect contaminated surfaces with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogen claims.