Coronavirus (COVID-19) statement from W J Beswetherick
We have been advised by the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) to provide guidance for coronavirus (COVID-19) and funerals.
We are adhering to this code of practice so that we can protect families and staff.
The current message for funerals
The current message from the Government is that funerals should continue, but take into account all of the guidelines issued for minimising the risk of transmission.
This includes the need:
– to protect at-risk groups
– to avoid large gatherings of people
– for good hand hygiene
– to avoid unnecessary physical contact.
This will help to protect:
– those attending funerals
– funeral home employees
– crematorium and cemetery employees
It is vital that the funeral home, crematorium and cemetery employees remain healthy and able to work at this critical time.
The steps that are being taken to protect people
Depending on the degree of risk, measures that have been recommended by the National Association of Funeral Directors in conjunction with the Department of Health are as follows:
– We will assess each funeral individually and consider whether it might mean smaller numbers of people and organising a celebration of life or memorial service planned for a later date. Alternatives such as webcasting may enable other mourners to participate.
– We will take steps to ensure all initial contact with the family (e.g. the arrangement meeting) is conducted remotely, via telephone or video link. We will assess whether they are in the Government-advised 14-day household isolation period and what effect that will have on the timings of the funeral service.
– Our staff will only physically meet with family members if we are satisfied that doing so is consistent with government advice. As mentioned above, current advice is that members of the same household as an infected person or someone showing symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days before coming into contact with anyone else.
– It is recommended that we keep attendance size to as small a number as possible and practicable and consider restricting the number of physical attendees to very close friends and family who are not from high risk groups.
– It is recommended that attendees keep to the social distancing recommendation of two metres apart.
– Anyone who is experiencing symptoms, such as a dry cough or fever (or lives with someone experiencing such symptoms) should be self-isolating, and we will underline this with our clients to ensure that anyone experiencing symptoms refrains from attending.
– In the case of a burial, we will talk to the family about the possibility of an outdoor service.
– We will be talking to venues about their cleaning regime, particularly in crematoria where contamination spread is a greater risk given the higher number of people attending the building on any given day.
– We will consider not having donation boxes at the funeral, but encouraging clients to use an online platform such as memorygiving.com.
– We will consider areas of our property that have come into contact with members of the public and regularly clean them, such as wiping down limousine door handles.
– We will consider asking clients to use their own transport where possible and may even wish to consider ceasing limousine hire for the time being, as it can be the place where longest period of time is spent in close proximity to clients.
– We will consider allowing only very close family members to a viewing on our premises.
– Anyone at the high-risk category who has been contacted by the NHS to stay at home should refrain from attending.
Following these guidelines will ensure that everyone remains protected and we’d like to thank you for your support during this challenging time.