Coronavirus viability under refrigeration
We have been informed by Public Health England that there is "currently no reliable data on how long" the Covid-19 virus can persist under refrigeration conditions. This should not preclude refrigeration and the body should be considered a potential source of infection while deceased individuals remain in the care environment whether refrigerated or not. Therefore, the appropriate PPE should be worn when handling the deceased.
Therefore viewing of the body for mourners, because of the requirement to open and unseal the body bags and the resultant risk of transmission, is not recommended.
Viewing should be performed before the body is sealed in the body bag i.e. in the ward or bedside environment. In hospital mortuary areas where strict controls (restricting contact with the diseased and maintaining a safe distance) are in place, as well as the capacity to disinfect the area, viewing may be allowed
In order to spare families any additional distress, consideration must be given to jewellery, religious articles, mementoes and keepsakes. If it is the wish of the patient and/or family that these items remain on the body, then that can happen. If it is the patients and/or the families wish to retain such items, then they should be removed at the time of care immediately after death, and prior to insertion into a body bag. These items will need to undergo appropriate decontamination processes before being returned to the family, unless their composition precludes decontamination. In this case, if these items must be retained by the family, they should be warned of the risks, the items placed in a sealed container which should remain closed for at least 7 days.
Family gatherings and Funeral Notices
There is an increased risk of transmission of coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) where families and communities come together following the death of a loved one, from any cause. Whilst recognising the importance of these rituals and gatherings, it is strongly advised that the actions detailed in the following section are taken to reduce the spread of infection.
Only the following should attend, up to a recommended maximum of 10 people, Members of the person’s household; Close family members; and If the deceased has neither household nor family members in attendance, then it is possible for a modest number of friends to attend.
In many situations the household members of the deceased person will be the next of kin; they may be having to self-isolate in line with household guidance. Where the funeral is scheduled to take place before the period of household isolation has been completed (14 days from the first case in that household), there should be no mixing between mourners who are self-isolating and those who are not.
Any individual displaying symptoms of COVID-19 disease or are awaiting test results should not attend.
Those who do attend will need to adhere to social distancing; a safe distance of at least 2 metres (3 steps) must be maintained between individuals at all times. This includes when travelling to and from the funeral.
A funeral notice may be placed in newspapers or using on-line services but the funeral arrangements should not be advertised.
We sincerely thank you for your co-operation at this difficult time. Please follow the guidance set out by the Government and stay safe.
We are available to make all the arrangements over the phone with you and by email and our services are all available online.
We ask that you only visit the branches to drop off clothing and sign paperwork.
We are continuing to offer viewing for non Covid-19 deceased although it is discouraged by current guidelines and only 2 persons at a time will he allowed into the chapel of rest. At the moment, visiting of Covid -19 deaths are allowed but will be with a closed coffin.
When in our office we politely ask that you respect the government guidelines on social distancing and refrain from any contact with our staff as they will with yourselves.
Registering the Death
Deaths can now be registered over the phone. The Registrars will contact you to make the telephone appointment.
We are still able to arrange floral tributes for you but deliveries are limited so there is not a wide choice.
For further information please contact us