Six Things You Should Know About Cemetery Burial During COVID-19

It’s okay to mourn. 3.4 million Americans passed away in 2021. 2021 was the deadliest year in America, in no small part due to the pandemic. 

Any death is significant, and every life deserves recognition. That’s why a cemetery burial is so important. But before you plan a burial for your loved one, you need to know a few things. 

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected burial practices? How can you plan a burial while staying safe? What are your different choices for burial? 

Answer these questions and you can celebrate your loved one’s life without hassle. Here are six things you need to know about burials during the pandemic.

1. Cemetery Burial Is Safe

Some people are concerned about contracting COVID-19 from the body of someone who died from it. Yet there are no known cases of someone receiving COVID-19 from a dead body. 

COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets. Dead bodies cannot produce these droplets. Most burials also occur outside, where the risk of transmission is extremely low.

People who attend the burial should avoid touching the body. If you or a loved one is concerned about infection, a cemetery employee can place a mask over the nose and mouth of the body.

2. Burial May Take Some Time

The burial of a loved one may not occur immediately after the passing. Many families who lost loved ones during the pandemic are scheduling funerals and burials now. This is creating a long waitlist, and it can grow longer if cases spike. 

Even if waitlists are short, an immediate burial may not be a good idea. Some family members may need time to process the news that their loved one has passed away. Waiting a few days can give them this time and help you plan a funeral.

A funeral home can keep your loved one’s body stored until you can have a burial. Talk to a funeral director about how to choose the perfect cemetery plot and find a good spot that is easy to access.

3. You Can Have Any Type of Cemetery Burial

The pandemic does not limit your options for cemetery burials. A traditional Christian burial involves placing the body inside a coffin and lowering it into a cemetery burial plot. A headstone can mark the plot and give information about your loved one. 

If your family has a mausoleum or crypt, you can ask for an above-ground burial service. You can personalize the mausoleum with a door or plaque with your loved one’s name on it.

Traditional burials can be harmful to the environment. Green burial cemeteries offer several options for green burials.

Cemetery workers can wrap bodies in shrouds instead of putting them in coffins. This allows the bodies to break down and provide nutrients to the soil. You can plant or lay cemetery flowers in the soil.

Cemeteries can accommodate burial practices from all religious backgrounds. Islam and other cultural traditions ask that bodies be washed before burial. A cemetery employee can take care of this on behalf of a family.

4. Safety Protocols May Be Necessary

Though cemeteries can accommodate all types of burials, they may ask for adjustments to different ceremonies. They may ask that people who attend the burial stay more than six feet apart. They may also ask that all attendees wear masks or show proof of vaccination. 

Anyone who shows signs of COVID-19 should remain at home. Attendees should avoid shaking hands with each other or eating food within close proximity of each other. 

Most mausoleum and crypt burials take place in an enclosed space. An employee may open doors or windows inside the mausoleum to allow the air to circulate. They may also ask family members to stand apart from each other to limit the risk of transmission.

5. You Should Keep the Attendees Limited 

There is no strict cap on how many people can attend a cemetery burial. But the fewer people at the burial, the lower the chance of COVID-19 transmission. You should try to limit the burial to immediate family members. 

You can stream the burial so others can see it. You can ask a cemetery employee to set up a camera and monitor the video feed. 

Use an app like Zoom instead of Facebook Live. Strangers can see a Facebook Live stream and leave inappropriate comments that others can read. Zoom will keep the burial private while allowing all loved ones to see the service. 

6. You May Qualify for Burial Assistance

FEMA is offering COVID-19 funeral and burial assistance. Any American citizen or national who loses a loved one due to COVID-19 can apply. 

In order to qualify, you must submit a form to FEMA with your personal information. FEMA can cover the costs of interment, a burial plot, and a headstone. They can also cover the expenses of clergy and officiant services. 

The families of veterans can also receive funeral assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. All veterans qualify for burial in a national cemetery of their choice. The government will cover the cost of opening and closing the grave and providing the headstone.

What You Need to Know About a Cemetery Burial

A cemetery burial can be a little tricky. It is safe to bury someone, even after they have died from COVID-19. Burial may take some time, but you can choose whatever ceremony you want. 

At the same time, the attendees must stay safe. Everyone should wear masks and perform social distancing. Only immediate family members should attend. 

You can receive burial assistance from FEMA or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Apply immediately and get help from a funeral director.

You have support whenever you need it. La Vista Memorial Park serves the San Diego area. Contact us today.