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COVID-19 UPDATE: EFFECTIVE JUNE 26, 2020

Funeral Services with 100 people 

Or up to Two-Thirds Capacity

As part of Arkansas’ effort to continue reopening safely, AFDA has some updated guidelines for funeral services. We’ve worked closely together with the Arkansas Department of Health to adjust these guidelines and will continue to do so. The approved plan for funeral homes allows that all funeral homes may hold services with up to 100 guest following standard, state-wide directives.

In addition, if your venue or any venue you might hold a funeral in will accommodate more than 150 people then you can exceed the 100 person rule above and permit up to two-thirds (66%) capacity by following the plan found below. The plan has been updated to reflect this and importantly, you should note that you are no longer required to leave every other row of seating unoccupied, but instead there must simply be 6-foot distances maintained between family groups.

This ruling holds for all indoor services, whether at a funeral home chapel or a place of worship. 

 Outdoor gatherings, e.g. graveside services, do not have a strict numerical limit, but 6-foot distances should be maintained between family groups.

To Summarize:

•You may hold services with 100 people, or with 2/3 (66%) capacity if you adhere to the state’s approved plan for funeral homes. 

•You no longer have to skip a row of seating, so long as six foot social distancing is maintained.

ADH – Approved Plan 


Social Distancing  

While permitted to sit in family groups, all individuals present will be required to sit 6-feet apart from other family groups. In addition, a 12-foot distance will be maintained between those leading the service and the congregation. 

Members of the public who are part of the service, including but not limited to those reading eulogies, 

will maintain 6-foot distances from other members of the public and 12-foot distances from funeral home staff. 

Guests will be asked to maintain social distancing from the family when offering their condolences. 

A member of the funeral home staff will accompany the immediate family to assist with social distancing and to direct the flow of traffic. 


Visitations 

All rules for the funeral service also apply to the visitations. 

Consequently, funeral homes should keep visitations limited to the smallest gathering of family members possible.


Entrances & Exits

Entrances and exits will be kept clear and managed by funeral home staff between services to ensure that different groups do not come into contact with one another at there and other choke points in the facility. 

In the event of multiple groups trying to enter/exit at the same time, the group in the facility will leave first and only once the entrance is clear will the second group enter. 

 No gatherings will be permitted at entrances and exits and lines will be marked to maintain 6-foot distancing between family groups in these areas.

Hand sanitizer stations will be positioned at all entrances and exits.


Personal Protective Equipment

Face masks are required for ALL attending. (10 years old and up)

Anyone passing or receiving any items (e,g, microphones, certificates or mementos) will wear gloves

No physical contact will be permitted between mourners and the decedent, when it is suspected or confirmed that the decedent was positive for Covid-19 at the time of death.


Refusing or Advising Persons Against Entry 

Signs will be posted at all entrances advising the public not to enter if 

They have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell 

They have had known exposure to someone with Covid-19 in the past 14 days. 

    Advising the public that they may wish to refrain from entering if they are 65 years of age or older 

They have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma or weakened immunity


General Overview & Staffing

The funeral home must keep on file and be able to display upon request the total square footage and total seating capacity of its chapel/venue for holding funerals 

The funeral home shall advise families of the total permissible number of mourners permitted in the facility at one time and will post the rules and total permissible capacity in plain sight for the public to see. 

The funeral home will use good judgment in ensuring that there is a sufficient amount of staff present to encourage compliance with the directive. 

Funeral homes must create a record of all attendees of each funeral service and keep a copy of said record for 30 days following the service. 

It will be made available to the Arkansas Department of Health upon request. 


Cleaning 

The facility, including seating, shall be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use. Frequently touched surfaces 

(e.g podiums and microphones) shall be cleaned periodically during the course of the event, using EPA-approved antiviral products.

Delancey-Murphy Funeral Home

Frequent Questions


Click on the questions below to reveal each respective answer.

Funerals fill an important role for those mourning the loss of a loved one. By providing surviving family and friends with an atmosphere of care and support in which to share thoughts and feelings about death, funerals are the first step in the healing process. It is the traditional way to recognize the finality of death. Funerals are recognized rituals for the living to show their respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grieving process.

You can have a full funeral service even for those choosing cremation. Planning a personalized ceremony or service will help begin the healing process. Overcoming the pain is never easy, but a meaningful funeral or tribute will help.

  • Pick up the deceased and transport the body to the funeral home (anytime day or night)
  • Notify proper authorities, family and/or relatives
  • Arrange and prepare death certificates
  • Provide certified copies of death certificates for insurance and benefit processing
  • Work with the insurance agent, Social Security or Veterans Administration to ensure that necessary paperwork is filed for receipt of benefits
  • Prepare and submit obituary to the newspapers of your choice
  • Bathe and embalm the deceased body, if necessary
  • Prepare the body for viewing including dressing and cosmetizing
  • Assist the family with funeral arrangements and purchase of casket, urn, burial vault and cemetery plot
  • Schedule the opening and closing of the grave with cemetery personnel, if a burial is to be performed
  • Coordinate with clergy if a funeral or memorial service is to be held
  • Arrange a police escort and transportation to the funeral and/or cemetery for the family
  • Order funeral sprays and other flower arrangements as the family wishes
  • Provide Aftercare, or grief assistance, to the bereaved

The funeral home will help coordinate arrangements with the cemetery.

  • Bring the following information to complete the State vital statistic requirements:
    • Birth Date
    • Birthplace
    • Father's Name
    • Mother's Name
    • Social Security Number
    • Veteran's Discharge or Claim Number
    • Education
    • Marital Status
  • Contact your clergy. Decide on time and place of funeral or memorial service. This can be done at the funeral home.
  • The funeral home will assist you in determining the number of copies of the death certificates you will be needing and can order them for you.
  • Make a list of immediate family, close friends and employer or business colleagues. Notify each by phone.
  • Decide on appropriate memorial to which gifts may be made (church, hospice, library, charity or school).
  • Gather obituary information you want to include such as age, place of birth, cause of death, occupation, college degrees, memberships held, military service , outstanding work, list of survivors in immediate family. Include time and place of services. The funeral home will normally write article and submit to newspapers (newspaper will accept picture and they will be returned intact).
  • Arrange for members of family or close friends to take turns answering door or phone, keeping careful record of calls. If Social Security checks are automatic deposit, notify the bank of the death.

If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good-bye, that’s perfectly acceptable. Your funeral director will come when your time is right.

Burial in a casket is the most common method of disposing of remains in the United States, although entombment also occurs. Cremation is increasingly selected because it can be less expensive and allows for the memorial service to be held at a more convenient time in the future when relatives and friends can come together.

A funeral service followed by cremation need not be any different from a funeral service followed by a burial. Usually, cremated remains are placed in urn before being committed to a final resting place. The urn may be buried, placed in an indoor or outdoor mausoleum or columbarium, or interred in a special urn garden that many cemeteries provide for cremated remains. The remains may also be scattered, according to state law.

Viewing is a part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity is voluntary.

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.

The Federal Trade Commission says, "Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial."

When compared to other major life events like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding costs at least three times as much; but because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized. A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral.

Additionally, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Funeral directors look upon their profession as a service, but it is also a business. Like any business, funeral homes must make a profit to exist.

It really depends entirely on how you wish to commemorate a life. One of the advantages of cremation is that it provides you with increased flexibility when you make your funeral and cemetery arrangements. You might, for example, choose to have a funeral service before the cremation; a memorial service at the time of cremation or after the cremation with the urn present; or a committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains. Funeral or memorial services can be held in a place of worship, a funeral home or in a crematory chapel.

With cremation, your options are numerous. The cremains can be interred in a cemetery plot, i.e., earth burial, retained by a family member, usually in an urn, scattered on private property, or at a place that was significant to the deceased. (It would always be advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place-your funeral director can help you with this.)

Today, there are many different types of memorial options from which to choose. Memorialization is a time-honored tradition that has been practiced for centuries. A memorial serves as a tribute to a life lived and provides a focal point for remembrance, as well as a record for future generations. The type of memorial you choose is a personal decision.

You might choose ground burial of the urn. If so, you may usually choose either a bronze memorial or monument. Cremation niches in columbariums are also available at many cemeteries. They offer the beauty of a mausoleum setting with the benefits of above ground placement of remains. Many cemeteries also offer scattering gardens. This area of a cemetery offers the peacefulness of a serene garden where family and friends can come and reflect.

If you wish to have your ashes scattered somewhere, it is important to discuss your wishes to be scattered ahead of time with the person or persons who will actually have to do the cremation ashes scattering ceremony, as they might want to let your funeral professional assist in the scattering ceremony. Funeral directors can also be very helpful in creating a meaningful and personal ash scattering ceremony that they will customize to fit your families specific desires. The services can be as formal or informal as you like. Scattering services can also be public or private. Again, it is advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place-your funeral director can help you with this.

Yes — Depending upon the cemetery's policy, you may be able to save a grave space by having the cremains buried on top of the casketed remains of your spouse, or utilize the space provided next to him/her. Many cemeteries allow for multiple cremated remains to be interred in a single grave space.

Uncertainty about income tax issues can add to the stress experienced from the death of a spouse. You should meet with your family attorney and/or tax advisor as soon as possible to review your particular tax and estate circumstances. Bring a detailed list of your questions to the meeting. If you do not have an attorney or tax advisor, call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 for answers to specific tax questions.


In this section

Veterans

Frequent Questions

Grief Support

Social Security Benefits

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