Funeral homes react to coronavirus pandemic, change how we say our final goodbyes

COVID-19 is changing so many aspects of our lives, including how we say our final good-byes.

Funeral Homes, like Gentry-Morrison in Lakeland, now only allow ten people in at a time. Following CDC guidelines, they also advise mourners not to kiss, shake hands or hug.

“I don’t know anything that is harder than losing a spouse, parent or child,” said Trey Hall of Gentry-Morrison. “Now on top of it, you’re sort of walking through it alone.”

Inside, mourners who traditionally huddle into groups, are not being asked to distance themselves for their own safety.

Along with the regular cleanings, employees at Gentry-Morrison are disinfecting anything that has been touched, like doorknobs, twice a day. And the register where guests sign in, is now gone.

“They are concerned about how each individual coming in and picking up that ink pen, and passing along the germs,” Lew Hall, the owner of the home, told FOX 13.

Graveside, cemeteries only allow 10 mourners. Some have eliminated services completely.

At national cemeteries, at least for the moment, veterans are simply being interred without the traditional pomp and circumstance.

“They don’t want the veteran to feel like they have taken their honors away,” said Lew Hall. “But is just delayed.”

Delayed until the pandemic has passed.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know


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