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Funeral homes share coronavirus guidelines

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the operation of everything from schools to sports to businesses, and local funeral homes are not immune to the upheaval. The Alabama Department of Public Heath has released specific guidelines for funeral home operation during the pandemic, and all funeral establishments – including Pinkard Funeral Home, Spry Memorial Chapel and Akins Funeral Home in Russellville – will be complying with ADPH orders.

Dr. Scott Harris, state health officer, and Gov. Kay Ivey have issued the most recent orders to protect Alabama citizens from the spread of the virus.

Families and funeral home staff members must:

  1. Limit the number of family member participating in arrangement conferences. Teleconferencing options will be strongly encouraged and arranged by the funeral home if possible. All in-person arrangement conferences will implement the social distancing requirements of 6 feet to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
  2. All in-person gatherings are limited to 10 people. Funeral establishment staff members will assist families in planning small graveside, chapel, church and visitation services that meet that requirement. Opportunities for larger memorial or celebration of life services will be offered after the health order is lifted.
  3. For those families finding it difficult to postpone a larger service, live streaming the service is an option. Funeral establishment members will be happy to discuss this option.
  4. Any arrangements made by funeral home establishment staff members with bereaved families must include the social distancing practice recommended in the state health order. Family members with weakened immune systems or chronic health issues are encouraged to stay home.
  5. Any family member who has been exposed to COVID-19 or is showing signs of active illness, such as fever or cough, will not be admitted to the funeral home, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.