To date, the United States confirms more than four million cases and 145,000 deaths directly attributed to COVID-19. In its wake, over the past five months, the Coronavirus and associated reactions, have impacted virtually every industry – including ours, the funeral industry.
COVID-19 & Funeral Industry Services
Family and friends of people who die have long used funeral services as rituals to help formally honor and celebrate the life of their loved ones who have died. Services not only help people acknowledge their loved one’s passing but also encourage mourners to express and share grief. However, most states continue to strictly limit gatherings. Initially, funeral industry assemblies were limited to 50 people. Later, multiple governors reduced the number of event attendees in their states to just 10 people. As a result, funeral and memorial services have been severely affected. Planning a funeral has always been tough, given the associated emotions. What’s more, during COVID-19, planning life celebrations has become extremely arduous.
Community Health & Safety in the Funeral Industry
By limiting the number of people who can attend memorial services, many mortuaries have adapted their services by allowing viewings and services to be held in shifts. Most funeral homes, including Foothill Funeral & Cremation, also require mourners to wear masks and respect social distancing etiquette. We also try to limit the amount of time given for each event, to minimize potential exposure, to keep our staff and clients safe.
Funeral Homes Risks of Infection
Funeral take extra precautions when handling bodies to prevent staff members from contracting the Coronavirus. We also place bodies in double bags. And we place surgical masks on the deceased to prevent air which can expel from the lungs during transport.
Funeral Industry Sees Increased Cremation Rates
The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), in their 2020 Cremation and Burial Report, purports an increase in the demand for cremation because of the pandemic. They also project that 2020 will see record deaths owed to COVID-19. Cremation figures have been on an upward trend for several years. In 2015, cremations surpassed burial rate for the first time. In some areas, crematoriums struggle to keep up with demand. But most funeral homes, including ours, store bodies as long as possible. This is important since many families opt to wait out COVID-19 restrictions, so they can hold a memorial service without limiting members or restricting contact.
Over the years, mortuaries across the world have hidden their pricing structure. At Foothill Funeral & Cremation, we have always published not only our own fees but those of our competitors. We do this in the interest of transparency. Although many of our families prefer to wait out the pandemic, some opt for virtual services. We are more than willing to speak to family members about digital options. Also, we offer a tribute page for memorializing loved ones who pass.
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation Services in Glendora, California
Whether you choose to transport cremains now or hold a memorial or funeral after restrictions are further eased, we would love to help you celebrate your loved one’s life. At Foothill, we will do our best to make sure you can mourn the loss of your loved one in a safe manner. Feel free to contact us now to pre-plan your own memorial or at your time of need (626) 335-0615. Our relationship with United Methodist Church and Sacred Heart provide great places for mourners to host funerals and memorials. However, LA County may limit the number of people who can attend such an event in light of COVID-19. Call today to speak to one of our funeral directors about current options.