Even going to funerals has changed due to coronavirus

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Local funeral homes are using alternative methods to help families grieve their loved ones.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, celebrating a family member’s life has become harder to do. With guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, funerals are unable to go on as planned.

“It’s made it complicated,” Riverwood Funeral Services administrator Colby McMorris said. “It’s affected the way people honor their family members.”

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Riverwood is hosting private graveside services for families, but only 10 or less can attend. The funeral home has also hosted virtual viewings and virtual services.

“Riverwood is going to serve the community in the best way possible,” McMorris said. “We want to help people honor their relatives during this time.”

Williams Mortuary is exclusively offering graveside services. There can only be 10 people or less and services can only last for 15 minutes.

“How we handle funerals has changed,” Funeral Director Pat McGill said.

The funeral home isn’t hosting public viewings at area churches. Any services held at their building are limited to only to 10 people.

With some families exceeding 10 people, Williams Mortuary is allowing family members to rotate in and out in order to follow CDC guidelines.

Williams Mortuary is publishing death notices only prior to the service, with obituaries only being published after the service in order to keep attendance down.


Story by Gracie Byrne