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Impact on memorial services at cemeteries during the pandemic

Posted at 11:36 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 03:33:31-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Death has become yet another aspect of our lives that's been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It has affected us in that we are unable to give our full service options like we did in the past."

Patrick Foley is the manager of East Lawn Palms and Funeraria del Angel South Lawn cemeteries.

"We are able to accommodate about 50 guests at the cemetery, following social guidelines."

Not one person more than that are allowed at burial services, Foley said.

It's a requirement of social distancing, even chairs are placed at a proper distance, under shade of course.

Thanks to new mediums of communication, Foley said it doesn't mean everyone can't see memorial services.

"We're able to offer services with live streaming and other new technologies to invite other guests that aren't allowed to attend due to those restrictions."

Foley said, with a family's permission, they can stream a memorial service on Facebook, accessible to guests of their choosing.

Another aspect of honoring loved ones who've passed affected by the pandemic, Foley said: visiting grave sites.

"We, also, are controlling guests coming into the cemetery for other visits. Visiting their other loved ones, that's not necessarily a service. We've asked them to shorten their time then to allow the service to safely go forward."