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Funeral Directors Association Recommends Limit of 10 People For All Services

Coronavirus

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Funeral Directors Association is following the CDC’s recommendation and urging all funeral services to be limited to 10 people.

However, this is only a recommendation, and not all funerals will be limited to 10 people or less. The Iowa Funeral Directors Association says decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

“Funeral directors in Iowa are faced with a lot of scary situations right now. First of all, they’re on the front lines. So they have to take care of themselves. And then now they have to ask families to try and limit those who can say a formal goodbye, to [10] people. So, each funeral home is implementing that in their own way,” said Suzanne Gebel, Executive Director of Iowa Funeral Directors Association.

Funeral directors are advising people to leave messages of condolences on their websites and to send cards instead of attending a visitation.

They are also encouraging social distancing at all services and urging sick people and the elderly to stay home.

“Funeral directors are professionals at what they do so they have tough conversations with folks every single day. Reports that I’m getting from today across the state are indicating that families are very willing to cooperate, and in some cases they’re postponing the visitation or the celebration until a few weeks from now when it’s safe again,” said Gebel.

Although no one in Iowa has died from the coronavirus, funeral directors have received guidelines on how to prepare for those situations. According to Gebel, funeral directors will be wearing full personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of the virus.

NOTE: The interview with Suzanne Gebel was conducted prior to the CDC’s new recommendation to limit gatherings to 10 people. The CDC initially recommended people not hold gatherings of more than 50 people.

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