FUNERAL PLANNING DURING COVID-19
Fernwood is open and serving our community while adhering to the latest COVID-19 directives from local and state authorities.
The loss of a loved one is always difficult. While it is only natural to want to plan a funeral or memorial service to honor a life lived and receive the love and support of your friends and family, these traditional celebrations are changing due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Your grief process will likely be compounded by additional stress during this unprecedented time.
Fernwood Cemetery’s compassionate staff and dedicated counsellors are here to help you through this difficult time. This global event has not changed our commitment to providing your loved one with a meaningful ceremony. However, we must maintain our commitment to facilitating memorial and funeral gatherings while also doing our best to flatten the curve. Fernwood has taken great care to ensure the health of all attendees, celebrants, staff, and clergy.
We are dedicated to reducing the possibility of spreading the virus further while facilitating your loved one’s memorial service. While arranging a funeral during this health crisis, regardless of cause of death, please understand that we are following all recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and California Department of Public Health.
Due to the closure of the adjacent public parks and trails, we have been asked to not serve as GGNRA parking and access point. Fernwood is open to family and friends wishing to visit loved ones and those arranging or attending services.
Our updated guidelines:
- We are able to make final arrangements by phone and computer.
- We are able to bring your loved one into our care.
- We are adjusting our services and number of guests according to the latest directives from local and state authorities.
- We are able to offer Zoom broadcast of some services so that you may witness by computer.
We will do everything in our power now and in the future to treat your loved one with honor and respect while giving you an opportunity for closure.
We understand that limitations for services will be difficult for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. We ask for your patience and understanding during this time as we do our utmost to facilitate your wishes. We will do our very best to assist you in understanding the available options for celebrating the life of your loved one, while also keeping all parties involved as safe as possible.
Some additional considerations:
- Depending on which burial rite you choose, all services will either be held at the gravesite or the areas that are adjacent to the crematory.
- Social distancing guidelines will apply throughout any planning arrangements as well as abbreviated services. Six feet of space will be observed by all parties present at all times.
Expectations For Funeral Arrangement the COVID-19 Pandemic
Fernwood Cemetery is here to help you. Regardless of whether you are arranging an abbreviated service in compliance with current restrictions or planning a larger gathering for a future date, please note that our staff will be taking some additional precautions to ensure the wellness of everyone involved.
- Fernwood funeral directors can make arrangements with you over the phone, via computer, or through video conferencing (ZOOM).
- If you need to drop off paperwork or clothing for the deceased, you will be asked to wash your hands when you arrive as a safety precaution. Our staff will maintain social distancing requirements of at least six feet while refraining from shaking hands with you.
- We will update you about any changes in local, state, and federal mandates and recommendations that may affect your cremation, funeral, or memorial arrangements.
If your loved one has passed away due to COVID-19, our compassionate funeral directors will take additional precautions while preparing the deceased. Please speak with your funeral director about the guidelines that Fernwood will be following.
Questions for Your Funeral Director During the COVID-19 Pandemic
I can’t have the memorial I want during this time. Do I have any options for the future?
Yes. Once the guidelines above are lifted, you will have up to one year to reschedule insured memorials that have been postponed. All families are encouraged to reschedule for when complete memorial services are permitted once again.
Does Fernwood Cemetery provide webcasting services?
Fernwood is able to offer video conferencing via Zoom for both graveside and cremation services. Attendees will be sent simple, easy to follow instructions. Filming and streaming via Zoom is offered as a complimentary service at this time.
Is Fernwood Cemetery taking steps to limit my exposure to COVID-19?
Yes. Our essential funeral and cemetery staff will be wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) including gloves and face masks at all times. These will be worn in addition to any other personal protective equipment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). Our interment staff will also wear protective equipment and clothing.
My loved one passed away due to COVID-19. Is it safe to attend their funeral?
At present, CDC guidelines state that “people should consider not touching the body of someone who has died of COVID-19.” However, the guidelines also make clear that “there is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.”
We are able to speak with you to answer any questions 24 hours a day. If a death has occurred or for funeral planning, please call us at (415) 383-7100.