In a response to the increasing death toll of coronavirus victims, the Irish Association of Funeral Directors has issued guidelines for handling deceased victims of the virus.
The guidelines are meant to protect funeral directors as well as their clients. On a daily basis close gatherings take place at funeral homes, making it an ideal place for the coronavirus to spread quickly. In Haro, Spain there has been a case with tens of infected people after attending the funeral service of a loved one.
After the UK and now Ireland releasing official guidelines it’s expected that more funeral director associations around the world will share guidelines and best practices.
Irish Funeral Home Association guideline overview
- Coronavirus victims should be cremated or buried immediately without a funeral service (later amended by Irish Funeral Home Association to: Allow funerals to take place but only with close relatives at funeral homes and banning open caskets)
- Relatives of the deceased should not be allowed at funeral homes or at funeral director’s offices
- Transport for families of the deceased should not be provided
- Funeral instructions should only be given by phone to undertakers by bereaved families
- The deceased should be removed from the place of death in a closed body bag which has not been reopened
- Vehicles used for the removal of deceased victims should be hygienically cleaned with the utmost care
- Any gloves, clothing and other disposable equipment in handling the deceased should be disposed of after use immediately and safely
- If possible the deceased should be to a designated area within the funeral directors facility in a isolated cold room
- The decease should not be embalmed and the deceased should be placed in a closed coffin