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As of Saturday, March 21, 2020 Franklin County has 24 Confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The age range of patients in Franklin County are between 2 and 65 years of age. On Saturday, Ohio reported 3 deaths and 247 confirmed cases. Anyone with questions regarding Coronavirus are encouraged to call 833-4-ASK-ODH or 614-645-1519 or Visit Franklin County Public Health www.Myfcph.org
Edwards Funeral Service has been closely monitoring both State, Federal and CDC Guidelines concerning the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Because of the nature of our profession, we as Funeral Directors can’t simply stay at home and ride this out. When your family experiences a death and you need the services of a Funeral Home, we are open and we are committed to remaining available to you 24x7. However, with the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, effective 9am March 19, 2020 we will be making the following modifications to the usually way we provide our services.
1) Arrangement Conferences: We encourage that ALL families use our online service arrangement process to the extent possible and/or make all arrangements via telephone with one of our professionals. If it is necessary for an in-person meeting, we ask that you limit the number of family members coming into the funeral home to no more than 2, including the Legal Next-of-Kin. We are Happy to utilize Video Phone features to include additional family members that need to participate.
2) Cremation Arrangement Conferences: Our website has been handling Cremation arrangements online for the past 3 years with success, and until further notice, ALL arrangements for Cremation services MUST be handled electronically or via telephone. Our website is setup to accept payments electronically and we can also accept checks over the phone as needed. You can even email or Text us a check.
3) Funeral Services: At the request of Governor Mike Dewine, Ohio is now recommending that ALL in-person Funeral gatherings be LIMITED to 50 people or LESS, therefore, we ask that you plan around this until further notice and limit attendance to Immediate family and extremely close friends for viewing/visitations, and rotate family & guests in and out to keep the number of people inside our facility at or below 50 people. Any family impacted by Social Distancing Limitations may choose to also schedule a second Public Memorial Service at a later date, after the nationwide Emergency restrictions have been lifted. This additional service will be at NO ADDITIONAL COST from the Funeral Home.
4) Memorial Services: One of the advantages that come with Cremation and Memorial services is the ability to delay the actual Memorial Service for weeks or even months. While we will continue to host Memorial Services, with the same temporary Limitations as listed above for Funeral Services and Visitations, we strongly recommend that you delay the Memorial Service Celebration until after Emergency Pandemic Restrictions have been lifted at the State and Federal levels.
5) Facebook Live: We are happy to offer Facebook Live events on our Funeral Home Facebook page at NO COST while the Emergency Pandemic Restrictions are in affect. We encourage family members Share the Facebook Live event to Family & Friends widely so that everyone that couldn’t be in attendance can virtually participate in the service.
6) Funeral & Memorial Service Recording: Upon request, we will be honored to create a Video recording of the Service and make it available on our Funeral Home Obituary page in order for family & friends to view the service at a later date if they were unable to attend in person or watch the Facebook Live event.
Our staff will be asking a lot more questions of our families upon the initial phone call for service to get a better understanding of the type of services you desire and to be able to better assist you in making and finalizing the arrangements for Funeral and/or Cremation services. Because many Insurance companies are closing completely or limiting staff availability, we can expect delays in verification of Life Insurance policies. If utilizing a Life Insurance Policy to pay for our services is necessary, we appreciate your understanding that this MAY delay the scheduling of services.
Because of the very nature of our work, our staff MAY be exposed to the COVID-19 Coronavirus at some point. Therefore, we will be Strictly enforcing OSHA Best Practice recommendations regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Our Staff will be wearing OSHA approved N95 masks and Latex exam gloves at ALL times while handling the Loved Ones we are called upon to serve, and when we are in the Presence of you and your family members. I understand that this will appear Drastic, but Please understand we will be doing this to Protect YOU and Your Family from US as the likelihood is greater that we Funeral Directors will become infected is Greater due to the sheer nature of our daily work. We shall all learn together how awkward it is to properly do the Elbow Bump when we are all so use to the typical handshake.
We Love our Jobs and consider it the Highest Honor to be called upon during your families darkest hours. We volunteered to do this type of work and have invested heavily in the Education necessary to provide Funeral Services properly and safely. We appreciate your understanding as we make changes to our “Normal” routines to better protect our communities while still being available 24x7 to everyone during this COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. This too Shall pass. God Bless you and your families.
Jeff Edwards, Funeral Director