Funeral homes still operating during COVID-19 pandemic

By: Brandon Spencer | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 26, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- One group that is often overlooked for their part in public health is the funeral industry; during a pandemic like COVID-19, funeral homes must continue to run.

Taking precautions to keep themselves safe while still serving the families in mourning, local funeral homes are doing their part to work while following federal guidelines.

For most funeral homes, day-to-day operations are the same. What has changed is how funeral services are conducted.

Strong and Jones Funeral Home in Tallahassee says having funeral services during the coronavirus pandemic has been weird.

Traditional funerals have services in a chapel, followed by a grave site memorial and, depending on the size of the family, hundreds may be in attendance.

But, since COVID-19, CDC mandates services now be limited to 10 people, a far cry from the norm.

Long-time funeral directors say telling people they can't come to their loved one's services is the hardest part.

"Some families are real large and they want all the grandchildren, great grandchildren, first cousins and cousins to come," said Linn Ann Griffin, Funeral Director for Strong and Jones. "So, it's hard to decide who comes into the chapel for the funeral.

Griffin says her team is taking precautions by limiting distance from clients and continuing to wear the proper gloves and equipment when handling bodies.