Yesterday at a press conference, President Trump’s administration’s coronavirus task force announced that the Government is implementing new guidelines.
- Avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people
- Avoiding discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits
- Avoid bars, restaurants and food courts
- Schooling from home, if possible
The White House is also recommending that older people and those with underlying health conditions “stay home and away from other people” as it continues to step up efforts to halt the pandemic. These guidelines are part of a campaign that the administration is calling, “15 days to slow the spread.”
Every American is asked to abide by the new guidelines to contain the pandemic. A national quarantine and curfew have been considered but the task force seems confident that in a sense of community Americans will abide by these guidelines and it won’t be necessary.
As a main gathering place, American funeral homes should feel obliged to follow these new standards meant to protect the community, however without any legal consequence, it is truly left up to the funeral homes to make a judgement call.
Some local governments are taking measures into their own hands. Yesterday, six northern California areas announced a shelter in place until April 7th. The move follows a previous city and state-wide ban on gatherings of more than 250 people, but takes a far more aggressive approach, banning travel via “foot, bicycle, scooter, automobile or public transit” that is deemed non-essential. Exclusions include healthcare, purchasing “essential” supplies and aiding friends and family who require support.
However, guidelines are currently not clear about funeral services as they aren’t mentioned as an essential service. So it could be that they are allowed with social distancing in small groups, or maybe they will have to be postponed.