COVID Funeral Guidelines and Planning
The COVID funeral is the new normal.
Times are hard right now for everyone. COVID is more contagious and deadly than ever. In December 2020, requests for funeral services increased by a staggering 50%, putting an unprecedented strain on funeral homes in LA county. Now, people are waiting weeks to lay their loved ones to rest.
Funerals themselves have also transformed into COVID-safe events. Wakes and services are held exclusively outside now, and must be socially distanced events to prevent the spread of COVID. Here are some important official funeral guidelines to consider when planning a funeral for a loved one.
COVID Funeral Guidelines
Here is the full official funeral guidelines document released by the LA County Department of Public Health. We’ve condensed their points for ease of reading.
- All aspects of the funeral service must be conducted outdoors.
- Social distancing protocols must be observed for the duration of the service.
- There is no attendance capacity so long as everyone is following social distancing protocols.
- Indoor and outdoor restrooms may be made available as long as they are clearly marked and are enabled to adhere to proper handwashing and social distancing protocols.
- Physical distancing rules do not apply to members within a single household, but one household group must socially distance from the other household groups present.
- Any attendees who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms will be asked to return home by the funeral home staff.
- All attendees over the age of 2 years old and those with conditions that prevent the use of a face covering, as mandated by a doctor, are required to wear a face covering over their noses and mouths at all times.
What Not to Do
- Do not kiss or touch the body of someone who perished from COVID.
- Violating social distancing protocols between households is strongly ill-advised.
- Food and beverages should not be offered.
- Indoor services are strongly discouraged.
- Sing and chant en masse is not advised as these activities will increase the likelihood of COVID transmission.
Funeral Planning for the Age of COVID
- Those who have contracted COVID and test positive will not be permitted to attend by staff, therefore they should not be invited.
- Loved ones over the age of 65 and are prone to respiratory illnesses should not be invited to the service for their own protection.
- Disposable program brochures should be provided.
- Consider a webcasting option for those who cannot attend the service in person. You can find more information about live streaming the service here. If you choose, you may also have the event recorded.
We hope we’ve been able to help you navigate planning a COVID funeral in accordance with official mandates. Please stay safe.