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.
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.
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.
•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
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.
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.
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.
Delancey-Murphy Funeral Home