COVID 19 AND FUNERAL SERVICESUpdated June 6,2021The last year has seen changes in our province and our lifestyles that are unprecedented for many of us. The arrival of COVID 19 in Prince Edward Island has meant drastic changes to how everything is handled. Unfortunately it has drastically affected how funeral arrangements, funeral services and visitations are conducted. Effective immediately and until the order of the Chief Public Health office is lifted the following measures have been put in place at our business . Mask are mandatory at the Funeral Home Limit the number of family members making arrangements to no more than 6 persons; No public visitation may be held, private visitation for the immediate household (under 20 persons) and additonal persons in seperate groups of 20 can occur providing the numbers stay under 150 persons in total these people must be contacted by the family. Refrain from in-person signing of the guest book and taking memorials/donations. Instead, use online mechanisms for people to offer condolences and give memorials/donations; Private Funeral and/or memorial services can occur. Organized gatherings of up to 50 persons are permitted to be held at an indoor or outdoor location Memorial donations will only be accepted online, in the mail or may be left in the secured drop box outside the front door of the funeral home on the right side of the building, and not in person to limit face to face contact for the safety of everyone. There will not be any post service/visitation receptions available. All the time a safe distance of 6 feet is to be maintained. We would request that anyone planning to stop at the funeral home call ahead to make an appointment 902-836-3313 to help limit social contact with staff and others who may already be present. Family members traveling from withoutside of Atlantic Canada for a service please vist the PEI Government website https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/justice-and-public-safety/pre-travel-approval-process for information on travel to Prince Edward Island.As we all work through the challenges this time has created for everyone we want to let you know that we are still here to provide the same level service we always have. We will continue to work with your family in your time of need. To be clear there can still be a private viewing as long as there is less than 10 people. Funeral and memorial services must be for immediate family and 10 persons or less. We will keep everyone updated as the situation changes. Thank you everyone, for doing your part to keep everyone safe!Judy, John, Kirk and DevonDavison Funeral Home and Chapel Message from the Chief Public Health Office: Funeral Homes Guidance Public Health measures (e.g. physical distancing) have been put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate the societal and health system impacts of the disease. These measures affect funerals and burials as well as cemetery and crematorium operations, whether or not the death is related to COVID-19.Regardless of the cause of death, death care providers should consider the use of virtual technologies (e.g. telephone, video conference, video recordings) in place of in-person services and gatherings. These technologies allow for broader inclusion and participation and are currently being practiced in many areas of the country. Physical DistancingPhysical distancing measures are approaches taken to minimize close contact with others in the community. These include quarantine and self-isolation, avoiding common greeting practices like hugging and handshakes, avoiding crowds, cancelling public/mass gatherings, and implementing workplace measures and closures.There are many practices funeral home directors can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep staff, families and visitors safe and healthy. At the Funeral Home: Abstain from hosting all public visitations and receptions; For private visitations, immediate family may be visited by no more than twenty people at a time by invitation only, provided: measures are in place to maintain physical distance, and prevent mingling between the immediate family and other visitors and there are no more than 150 people in total over the span of the visitation (including the immediate family and people from other households), a funeral home staff person is on site to ensure that protocols are followed during the visitation, and all other measures in this guidance and applicable measures from the organized gatherings guidance are followed. For the purposes of the visitation, who is considered immediate family is at the discretion of the family and based on the capacity of the funeral home but is advised not to exceed twenty individuals. Visitations should be scheduled in advance to minimize people mixing; After a private visitation exceeding no more than 150 people in total, additional separate visitations with the deceased may be scheduled, without the immediate family or others present, up to twenty people at a time, for individuals unable to be accommodated within the total of 150 for the visitation; If more than 50 people, the visitation must be organized by a business or organization; if fewer than 50 people, individuals must follow the special occasion gatherings guidance. Consider the use of alternatives to in-person signing of the guest book and taking memorials/donations, such as online mechanisms for people to offer condolences and give memorials/donations; where possible, avoid providing attendees with shared items; if required, ensure hand washing facilities or alcohol-based sanitizers are within easy reach, signs are posted, to remind people to wash or sanitize their hands before touching a shared surface, and to maintain a two metre distance from individuals from other households, any high touch surfaces are frequently cleaned and disinfected, and where applicable, ensure congestion is minimized. Funeral and/or memorial services can occur. Organized gatherings of up to 50 persons are permitted to be held at an indoor or outdoor location provided businesses, services or organizations follow the Organized Gatherings Guidance and an operational plan outlining measures to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 is in place and followed. Funeral services may include up to three cohorts of 50 people, plus officials, when held at a facility that has been approved for up to three cohorts, as per the Multiple Gatherings Guidance. If more than 50 people, the visitation must be organized by a business or organization; if fewer than 50 people, individuals must follow the special occasion gatherings guidance. People who have received an exemption from self-isolation for attending a wake, funeral or burial service must keep 6 feet or 2 metre distance from others and wear a non-medical mask. They are also expected to perform hand hygiene and practice cough etiquette, self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, stay in self-isolation if experiencing symptoms, and follow other general public health measures. They must follow the designated testing schedule, and have received a negative COVID-19 test in the 24 hours before any visitation, funeral or burial service. They must isolate for their first 14 days in PEI or the duration of their stay, except when at the visitation, funeral or burial service. This exemption does not apply if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. More information for these individuals on the self isolation exemption can be found here. Set up your space to accommodate appropriate physical distancing of at least 2-meters or 6 feet from all individuals, at all times; numbers in a space should be limited to those that can be accommodated with physical distancing. Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces in Prince Edward Island, including funeral homes. Some exemptions apply Do not permit shaking hands, hugging, etc.; Encourage hand washing by making available alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with a minimum of 60% alcohol content) or access to washrooms that are always well stocked with liquid soap and paper towels; Have extra tissues on hand and a hands-free waste basket for disposal; Enhance cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, table-tops, bathrooms and other surfaces. Everyone on arrival should be asked if they have any COVID-19 symptoms or are required to self isolate (or are exempt for the visitation/service). At Burials and Cemeteries: Organized gatherings of up to 50 persons are permitted to be held at an indoor or outdoor location provided businesses, services or organizations follow the Organized Gatherings Guidance and an operational plan outlining measures to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 is in place and followed. Burial services may include up to three cohorts of 50 people, plus officials, when held at a facility that has been approved for two or more cohorts, as per the Multiple Gatherings Guidance. Do not permit shaking hands, hugging, etc. Practice physical distancing of 2 metres/6 feet between individuals and/or households.*At the discretion of cemetery operators, additional individuals in vehicles may be permitted at the cemetery, provided individuals do not exit their vehicle or gather as this may exceed the maximum outdoor gathering limit.
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