Funeral homes taking coronavirus precautions

Naugle Funeral Home and Cremation Services in San Marco offering hand sanitizer at services

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Events with large crowds are being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are often crowds of older adults -- who the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 -- at funerals. That’s why many funeral homes are now taking precautions to protect people who want to pay their respects from getting the coronavirus.

On Thursday, News4Jax stopped by Naugle Funeral Home and Cremation Services in San Marco. Cameron Naugle, who runs the funeral home, said they have hand sanitizer at services and they are encouraging people who have compromised immune systems to avoid funerals.

“We have told people that are in the risk that they may want to, kind of, pull back from attending large gatherings,” Naugle said.

The funeral home is also encouraging streaming funeral services online so people who can not attend can watch a livestream. He said funeral homes will work with families to set that up in a service.

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There has also been an alert put out by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration to funeral directors around the country. It wants families to know they can handle burials and cremations now and then have a funeral service or memorial later on after the threat of the virus has passed. Naugle also said any private funeral home could offer something similar to a family.

Naugle said the threat of transmission in funerals is just as viable as any other large gathering because they’re so common. He said his funeral home alone conducts two to three a week, with an average attendance of 80 to 100 people.

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