Funeral homes prepare for resumption of in-person services

Coronavirus Watch Kentucky

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Kentucky funeral homes will begin easing some restrictions put in place nearly two months ago. More people will be allowed inside services, but other rules are still in effect.

“It’s hard to lose a loved one any time,” said Chris Buskill, who lost his father, Michael, last month.

“My dad, anybody he met, immediately he was a best friend of his,” he said, describing what his father was like. Because of physical distancing rules, the family had a drive-thru visitation at Glenn Funeral Home in Owensboro. Buskill said it felt different, but appreciated how it was handled.

“The funeral home did a really good job implementing a new process for them. I would have thought they did it a hundred times,” he said.

Starting Wednesday, in-person funeral and memorial services will permit a third of capacity inside, maintain physical distancing, service providers are asked to wear masks and are recommended to ask attendees if they’ve been ill recently. John hill of James H. Davis Funeral Home says they’ll add rope barriers to keep families safe from others.

More guidelines from the state for funeral and memorial services.

“Traditionally, the family is kind of standing there by the casket, they will be away from that casket so that each individual guest can go up and see the loved one and move on,” he said.

Even smaller things, such as how the guestbook is handled at the funeral homes is changing. Some are letting staff members sign the book for you, others will supply guests with their own pen. Glenn Funeral Home officials say they’ll stagger seating in their chapel to ensure physical distancing. Buskill says his family plans another service down the road for their late father.

“We plan on doing what we call a celebration of life months down the road whenever communities are able to open up, and able to get some folks in, and get those hugs that we need,” he said.

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(This story was originally published on May 19, 2020)

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