Families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 often struggle to move past their grief and remember safe social distancing practices. It’s nearly impossible to explain to bereaved people that tears and hugs spread the virus and linger on funeral home surfaces. Essential funeral home workers, like much-lauded first responders and frontline health care professionals, require a stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizers, and deep cleaning products. International Enviroguard manufactures industry-leading PPE or medical protective clothing for funeral directors and funeral industry workers to stop the spread. Let’s closely look at what all funeral workers should practice safety.
COVID-19 funeral workers at risk
The guidelines for reducing the spread of the coronavirus have created a perfect storm for funeral workers. State mandates have almost eliminated church gatherings. Even if grieving community members wore PPE and medical protective clothing church-held funeral Masses would generally exceed safe numbers. With most churches closed, paying respects has almost entirely been delegated to funeral homes or graveside services.
Given that COVID-19 is a new virus and researchers are still gathering data, the NFDA has been working hard to dispel misinformation such as the following.
The NFDA contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for clarification after the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine published a confusing letter implying COVID-19 could contract from dead bodies.
However, the most pressing concern for funeral home employees was that no link between mortuary tasks had reportedly resulted in a confirmed COVID-19 death.
NFDA encourages best practices
Although it is in the best interests of every funeral director to conduct arrangement conferences over the phone, it is difficult to avoid the visual elements of wakes and services. Directors are near grieving family members who may expose during in-person discussions. It is especially true for those whose loved ones died from coronavirus infection. The NFDA encourages directors to consider the following protocols in the interest of increased safety.
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- Have funeral home staff members stay home if they may have been exposed or feel sick.
- Compassionately ask sick or potentially exposed family members to join via video conferencing.
- Limit the number of people attending an arranged conference to as few as possible.
- Ask family members to sanitize their hands when entering and exiting the facility.
- Set up hand sanitizing and tissue stations throughout the facility.
- Explain, in advance, that CDC and state guidelines do not allow you to shake hands or make physical contact.
- Politely explain that social distancing guidelines apply within the funeral home.
- Disinfect and clean surfaces after family members leave the facility.
Standard safety measures for funeral home transfers
According to the NFDA website, essential workers use PPE by CDC guidelines at all times. Health and safety protocols are advised when transporting someone who died from a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 from hospitals, elderly care facilities, or homes, among other places. These include standard precautions PPE, and medical protective clothing such as face masks. The following procedures are :
- Before touching the body or contact surfaces, wash hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Use funeral director PPE such as face masks, eye protection, gloves, and disposable gowns.
- Wear additional PPE for splash and aerosolization precautions, such as face shields, goggles, and respiratory protection.
- Place the deceased in a body bag with care, avoiding fluid splashing or aerosolization.
- Disinfect the bag’s exterior with an EPA-approved pathogen-killing product.
- When loading the body and body bag into the vehicle, use personal protective gloves.
- Before driving a vehicle, remove and discard gloves and repeat the sanitization process.
Increased funeral home safety precautions
Many critical workers are concerned about how they can best protect themselves. The CDC has published the most recent information as an increasing number of funerals are with significant health concerns. The CDC says this about coming into contact with the deceased. Consult the medical gown distributors for a genuine buy.
- Researchers are still discovering how this new disease spreads.
- Data suggests that close contact — within six feet — is the primary cause of the spread.
- COVID-19 is through respiratory drops from coughing and sneezing, just like influenza.
- Others are more likely to inhale contaminated droplets.
Contact with the bodies of those who died while infected with the coronavirus is discouraged by the health agency. The CDC also advises funeral home employees and religious leaders conducting services to keep contact to a minimum whenever possible. The CDC also recommends funeral home employees and religious leaders conduct services to keep contact to a minimum whenever possible. Consult the medical gown distributors for a genuine buy.
The CDC advises those whose cultural or religious practices include shrouding the decedent’s body to collaborate with community leaders and funeral home professionals to reduce exposure.
PPE for funeral home workers
OSHA and the CDC have long-standing guidelines in place regarding appropriate PPE.
When fluids can potentially transfer coronavirus contamination from infected parties. We can use medical protective clothing.
The CDC recommends that workers in environments with suspected COVID-19 cases wear nonsterile disposable gloves.
This type of PPE provides 360-degree protection from splatters and contact with coronavirus-infected surfaces. When combined with accessories, coveralls typically provide total body protection.
Respirators and masks
The N95 FFR respirator can remove at least 95% of airborne particles and pathogens.
Conclusion: The lack of PPE has imposed a significant health and safety burden on critical workers, such as funeral home personnel. Contact medical PPE suppliers in the USA for genuine buy.
Frequently Asked Question
Q1.What precautions to take to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
It is critical to mention hygiene standards such as frequently washing your hands.
Q2What are the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines?
If you must be around people, keep a distance of at least 2 meters (6 feet) from those around you.
Q3.How can I keep myself and others safe while using disinfectants?
Always prepare disinfectant solutions in well-ventilated areas. After using any disinfectant, including surface wipes, wash your hands.