Coronavirus in Knox: Funeral homes still accommodating private services, public services postponed amid COVID-19 outbreak

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Planning a funeral or memorial service for a loved one can be difficult and funeral homes across the country have plans in place to continue holding services with limitations.

Guidelines that limit social gathering to less than 10 people, according to The White House, are impacting public funeral and memorial services. Funeral homes are recommending to postpone public services to a later date to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Adam Starkey, Manager and Funeral Director at Rose Morturary, says they are using guidelines from the first meeting with a family to prevent spreading the virus.

Any in-person arrangement conference can be attended by up to two family members. Any others may teleconference in, or call. Contracts and paperwork are now handled entirely through email or fax.

Rose Mortuary is offering families the option to broadcast funerals and memorials, including church, chapel, and graveside using Facebook Live.

Services may also be recorded and broadcast at a later date through their website for extended family to view.

“This is so new, we haven’t had a lot of push back. we’re kind of still in the questioning stage of what life looks like going forward,” said Starkey.

Nationwide receptions and luncheons held at the funeral home are no longer being offered.

Private family burials and private services are possible, but Starkey says he is recommending families postpone.

“When they need our services…they’re entering into the unknown. A lot of people haven’t been through this, that’s a good thing. as funeral services providers we’re here to walk with them through this process,” said Starkey.

Rose Mortuary also offers online grief and healing services.

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