Funeral homes adapt to COVID-19


It's been difficult for people in the business of comforting those in a time of grief, but it's necessary to slow the spread of the virus

(WYTV) – The process of honoring loved ones who have passed away has changed because of the coronavirus.

It’s been difficult for people in the business of comforting those in a time of grief, but it’s necessary to slow the spread of the virus.

“We want to protect the grieving families and also the general public along with our staff,” said Funeral Director Ben Kyle of Steward-Kyle Funeral Home.

Before concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, funeral homes were once a gathering place where grieving families were joined by family and friends to say their final goodbye.

However, in the era of social distancing, that has now changed.

“That has created a challenge social distancing-wise because it’s so foreign to what we actually do. We bring folks together in their time of grieving,” said Funeral Director Dave Knarr of Lane Funeral Homes.

“It’s a changing profession everyday. We’re just hoping we can do the best we can for our families and get them through this,” said Funeral Director Judy Reardon of Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home.

“Adapting and adjusting is what we’ve been called to do and we’re doing our best to do that,” said Funeral Director Terrance Reardon also of Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home.

Governor Mike DeWine said Thursday the state will not regulate funerals under a new stay at home order that goes into effect next week. He said there still should be no more than ten people in attendance.

A guideline was also made by both the state and the National Funeral Directors Association, which many funeral homes are already abiding by.

“So far, families have been very understanding. They understand what we’re all going through and we’re all going through together,” said Knarr.

“It’s a traumatic thing for people to lose a loved one and then also to have a pandemic that’s affecting the whole entire nation and the world, all to coincide at the same time where we want to encourage people to stay safe but also mourn the loss of their loved one,” said Kyle.

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