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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

Social Security Benefits


Some of the deceased's family members may be able to receive Social Security benefits if the deceased person worked long enough under Social Security to quality for benefits.  You should get in touch with Social Security as soon as you can to make sure the family receives all of the benefits to which it may be entitled.  Please read the following information carefully to learn what benefits may be available.


A one-time payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if he or she was living with the deceased; or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased's record.  If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceased's record in the month of death.


Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits, including:

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled);
  • A surviving spouse at any age who is caring for the deceased's child under age 16 or disabled;
  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than age 18 (or age 18 or 19 if he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school); or age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22;
  • Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support; and
  • A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.


The Social Security website is a valuable resource for information about all of Social Security's programs. There are a number of things you can do online.


In addition to using the Social Security website, you can call them toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.  Staff can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.  They can also provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day.  If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call the TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.


In this section

Veterans

Frequent Questions

Grief Support

Social Security Benefits

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