19 March 2020

COVID-19 – Cemeteries and Crematoria Information and Links

The progress of both the virus and the health sector and government responses are picking up speed. Cemeteries and Crematoria Association of NSW (CCANSW) provides information and support to members together with an important peer to peer forum.

Most operations will have existing Business Continuity Plans and will be reviewing these and modifying them to meet the new challenges of COVID-19. Things to consider include the demographics of the catchment area, forecast impact of COVID-19 on their population the capacity of mortuaries in the area, the capacity of crematoria and cemeteries in the area and how to respond to government directives as they evolve.

As the numbers able to gather for funerals is reduced and for people who are unable to attend funerals due to self-isolation or quarantine, we need to be creatively thinking about how we can assist the bereaved. Some facilities can offer live streaming or recording of services.

Families also have the option of having the burial or cremation take place ahead of the funeral service. This allows more time for arrangements and for consideration of attendance after self-isolation periods. Forward planning could include memorial services, Blessing services, family gatherings, collective services at sites where cremations and/or burials may have taken place without a service at the time.

It is easy to get caught up in the information overload, however people should be assured that there are plans in place to maintain services and there are people with professional experience in managing infectious disease affected deceased. Our job is to carry on delivering the essential services the community needs in a calm and factual manner.

Here are links to recently released information: