Updated April 1, 2020
O. R. WOODYARD FUNERAL HOME’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Given the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential impact it can have on the health and well-being of our staff, clergy members, families, and guests we are taking precautions to do our part to limit exposure to the Coronavirus. It is a fluid situation that we are monitoring hour to hour. We are still operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week making certain that those entrusted to our care and the families we serve are receiving uninterrupted service and attention, regardless of the cause of death.
So what has changed? Many of you may have read or heard that the State of Ohio’s initial ban on gatherings greater than 100 people exempted funerals. On March 16, Governor DeWine lowered that order to 50 people in accordance with the CDC and later prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. While it is our understanding that we are exempted purely due to the the constitutional right of free speech and church/state, we have decided in order to protect the health and safety of our associates, families, and the community moving forward, all services and visitations will be strictly private. This policy is effective for services that are being arranged starting March 17, 2020. Any existing public services that were planned will proceed. So if there are dates and times on our website for services they will go on as expected. We will also be trying to make most arrangements via telephone, email and/or Zoom meetings. We appreciate your understanding during these times as we strive to protect your family, our staff, and the greater community.
We provide the following options for your care and safety in response to the Coronavirus:
- Funeral Livestreaming via Facebook Live allowing general public to view your loved one's services
- Funeral Livestreaming via Zoom or FuneralOne allowing a select group of people to view your loved one’s services
- Online Memorial Tributes allow individuals to sign, leave comments, post pictures of loved ones, view tribute video if made.
- We will continue to provide traditional private family visitation and services if desired
- Immediate Burial or Cremation with a public memorial at a future date
- We are training staff to use Zoom Meetings (a simple and easy remote meeting software) to make arrangements if families either do not feel comfortable coming out, feel ill themselves, or just want that convenience.
We know this is a big ask, but we also ask that those at risk or those not feeling well to stay home even if they are immediate family, we promise to do everything in our power to give you an opportunity to pay your respect and grieve.
For those still coming into our facilities, please know the following:
- For those families whom still want to physically come in for the family arrangement conference, we ask no more than 4 family members attend so we can give everyone some distance around the conference table.
- Associates have been reminded of and encouraged to use good hand hygiene and cough etiquette habits.
- We have instructed our staff to remain home when they are sick, throw used tissues in the trash immediately, and thoroughly washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Additionally, we encourage all to cover their mouth and nose with the insides of their elbows when they cough or sneeze.
- We are asking everyone to forgo courtesies of handshakes and close embraces.
- We have heightened daily disinfection practices for high-touch surfaces
- We encourage you to follow the CDC recommendation to take the usual steps to help prevent the spread of illness
- We ask that visitors do the same as well.
How does this affect our operations?
We will continue as long as legally permissible to help care for your loved ones and family. Please note several areas that have already changed in terms of policies and can cause some delays. Many facilities including nursing homes, hospitals, and coroners’ offices have implemented more stringent policies when releasing a deceased individual regardless of the cause of death. Also, we have been informed by several counties' Boards of Health that they will not be open to file/request certified death certificates in person. So that will likely delay the time it takes to get certified death certificates back as it will have to be done via mail.