Attending a Funeral During the Pandemic
Closeup of Funeral Director With Folded Hands, Church Pews and Casket in Background

Attending a Funeral During the Pandemic

If you’ve been invited to attend a funeral, you may have some questions about whether it is safe to do so depending on cases in your community and any personal health issues or other concerns you may have. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering attending a funeral:

  • You have the option of politely declining to attend. Contact the family by phone or email to advise them of your decision. They’ll appreciate hearing from you and knowing you would be there if you could. When you call or write, share a memory of their loved one. In addition, see our list of ways you can support loved ones when you’re unable to express your condolences in person. Learn more about Expressing Condolences.
  • If you are not feeling well, do not attend.
  • Practice social distancing while at the funeral, even if you feel well. While you may want to express condolences by hugging family members and friends, social distancing recommendations may apply, even at funerals. Politely explain that while it’s not possible for you to offer a hug at this time, you’d love to connect at a later date to do so. Instead, offer a fond memory of the individual who has died.
  • If the number of COVID-19 cases surges in your community, some funeral homes may regulate the number of people allowed into the funeral home at any one time, depending on current guidelines. If you’re asked to wait outside or in your car, be patient. Funeral home staff are doing their best to ensure everyone has the opportunity to pay their respects.

For answers to other questions about COVID-19 and Funerals, visit the Q&A on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. There you’ll find the most up-to-date answers to questions about attending funerals, including questions about attending a funeral for someone who has died of COVID-19:

  • Am I at risk if I go to a funeral or visitation service for someone who died of COVID-19?
  • Am I at risk if I touch someone who died of COVID-19 after they have passed away?

CDC Website: COVID-19 and Funerals

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