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How funeral homes are operating to prevent spread of COVID-19

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Connelly Funeral Home of Essex

ESSEX— Funeral homes continue to operate under the new state mandate that limits gatherings to 10 people.

The Office of Legal Council ordered all funeral homes in the state of Maryland to keep the number of people who attend funeral services at or below 10 people as of Wednesday, March 18.

Greg Connelly of Connelly Funeral Home of Essex said they will follow the guidelines they received from local, state and national health officials and will continue to serve families in a respectable way that will provide protection to everyone involved.

“We are blocking off our port de cove so no cars come through during services so that people can stand outside so that they can go in [10 at a time] so they can alternate.,” Connelly said.

“We have antibacterial soap and masks for people when they come in and we can dispose of them in our medical waste containers for a specific company to take them away.”

According to the Board of Morticians and Funeral Directors, if the deceased did not die from an infectious or contagious disease/Coronavirus, funeral homes are to follow standard practices and procedures.

If the cause of death is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) funeral homes will assist the family in arranging for a direct cremation or immediate burial. Funeral homes are not to offer embalming or visitation as an option.

If the family wants to arrange for a memorial service at a local church, the funeral homes can assist them in making those arrangements and putting them in contact with the church. However, the funeral home employees are not to direct, attend or participate in memorial services.

If the family is arranging an immediate burial, funeral homes can schedule a graveside service and a funeral director will meet them and the clergy at the cemetery. There will be no religious or funeral services scheduled in the funeral home facility.

“We are keeping on top of things,” Connelly said. “I posted about all these updates on our website Monday [March 16]. We just ask that people be patient and cooperate with us because all we can do is listen to what the governor says.”

Connelly said funeral arrangements can be made over the phone or email if people prefer and that updates of any possible changes to the mandated regulations will be posted on Connellly Funeral Home of Essex’s website.

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