The Shawnee County Health Department (SCHD) is seeing an increase in both Shawnee County and surrounding areas of COVID-19 cases directly and indirectly associated with funerals and visitations. As of June 15, 2020, there have been 41 cases including 1 death linked to funerals in Shawnee County; these cases include residents in 5 different counties.
SCHD understands the importance of conducting funeral arrangements and visitations for our loved ones. Therefore, providing our community funeral directors with appropriate and timely guidance is one of our focused priorities, so these services can continue to happen as safely as possible. The guidance provided here from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is for individuals and families as they work with funeral directors, community and religious leaders, and others to plan and hold funeral services and visitations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples for individuals and families include:
“We must stay diligent with conducting our own personal risk assessments when attending events such as funerals and larger family gatherings”, said Linda Ochs, Director of Shawnee County Health Department. “As always please continue to practice social distancing when possible, wear a mask when able to help lessen the spread of the virus and use every day preventative measures.”
As a reminder, human coronaviruses like the one that causes COVID-19 are most commonly spread through coughing and sneezing, personal contact like shaking hands, and touching a surface with the virus and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. There are simple steps everyone can take to help prevent spreading them:
Additional Funeral Guidance:
CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/funeral-guidance.html
National Funeral Directors Association – https://www.nfda.org/covid-19
Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts – https://ksbma.ks.gov/