During a live address from the CDC to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) on March 16, the federal health agency suggested that, moving forward, funerals can still take place, but services should be limited to 50 people or fewer.
The NFDA noted that the CDC “suggested limiting attendance to select family and livestreaming the service for those who cannot attend” or recording the service via video for later delivery to whomever the family deems appropriate.
When it comes to funerals of individuals who died after contracting the COVID-19 virus, the CDC noted that there is “no known risk associated with attending a funeral or visitation service.”
However, the health agency warned that “people should consider not touching the body of someone who has died of COVID-19.” It was also advised that those who end up attending an in-person funeral keep direct human-to-human contact to a minimum, despite the natural inclination to hug, shake hands or hold one another at the time of such a service.
“COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are still learning how it spreads,” the CDC highlighted on its website. “The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from close contact (i.e., within about 6 feet) with a person who is currently sick with COVID-19.”
The agency explained that as it is currently known, the virus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets that are produced from an infected person who coughs or sneezes. Naturally, this would be an unlikely way for the virus to spread when dealing with someone who died from the novel coronavirus.
According to the guidelines released under the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” by US President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday, Americans should “avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.”
As of this article’s publication, the CDC has confirmed a total of 7,038 COVID-19 cases in the US, including all 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands. At least 97 deaths have been associated with the contagious disease.