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During this critical time nationally and locally, Palmer Funeral Homes wants to assure you that our offices will remain open to serve families. Please call our caring and experienced staff to verify times and locations of services prior to attending. (574) 289-2848 When personal attendance is not possible, other options to express your condolences include: sending flowers, memorial contributions, cards, phone calls, or utilitizing our online condolences. In an effort to maintain our high standard of care, additional protocols have been put in place. Thank you for continuing to place your trust in us.
Mourning During a Pandemic: A Health Crisis Brings New Funeral Challenges
How do you hold a funeral in the age of social distancing?
Michiana families who have experienced the death of a loved-one in recent days have been confronted with a new challenge – how do you mourn the loss when it’s considered a public health risk to host a funeral or memorial service during a pandemic? How does a community support those who are bereaved when the Centers for Disease Control and public health officials have asked that gatherings be limited to a maximum of one hundred people? No one chooses the timing of the death of a loved-one, and now families are confronted with decisions to make in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This public health emergency presents unique problems for a family already under stress:
•How are religious funeral services held when churches are not open to the public?
•How can people come together to mourn someone when public gatherings are discouraged?
• How do I decide who to invite to an inivitation-only funeral or memorial service?
•What happens when it’s too risky for seniors or those with serious health conditions to attend?
•How does someone in self-quarantine be involved with a service from home?
•Can I still have a burial/visitation/viewing if my loved one passes from coronavirus-related illness?
We at Palmer Funeral Homes have received many calls and questions from grieving families on how these public health restrictions will impact their ability to hold a service. While many funeral homes are abiding by the best practices outlined by the CDC to limit gatherings to 100 people, livestream technology has the ability to link friends and relatives who may not have otherwise been able to attend. Watching the funeral service from home offers a safe way for those concerned about the risk of transmission to be a part of the service, and offer support for those who are grieving. Bereaved families can also have a way to host a funeral in the short-term that others can be a part of, while postponing a larger gathering until such time that a larger visitation would be deemed safe. Outdoor graveside services are another option for families, as long as proper social distancing practices are observed. Palmer Funeral Homes are not requiring that masks be worn, however, it is recommended per the CDC.
The CDC says there is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19. However, the CDC also notes that people should consider not touching the body of someone who has died of COVID-19. We are taking universal precautions to minimize the risk of any person-to-person transmission, including increased cleaning and sanitation within our facilities, and asking those with symptoms to remain home. A face mask is not required in order to attend services but is recommended by the CDC.