PPE Considerations Regarding COVID-19 for Cemeteries

Friday, April 17, 2020

Over the past few weeks, Ensure-A-Seal has been contacted by cemeteries across the country as they prepare for burials during the current COVID-19 pandemic. As cemeteries continue their operations, it is important to acknowledge the practical difficulties in adjusting worker and family behavior in order to safely conduct burial, entombment, and inurnment. While CDC, OSHA, and WHO have issued guidance focused on funeral directors and mortuary workers, we wanted to apply these existing guidelines to cemetery burials.

Our key takeaways for cemeteries regarding PPE are as follows:

  1. Each cemetery must review all federal, state, and local guidance to make determinations on protocol for handling caskets. The following information represents suggestions based on the available guidelines we have reviewed. 
  2. Treat every case like a COVID-19 case.
  3. Strictly enforce social distancing.
  4. Disinfect casket.
  5. Employees handling casket should wear gloves, Tyvek suits, and face coverings.
  6. Perform routine and regular proper hand hygiene before and after a burial, and throughout the day.

Ensure-A-Seal know that PPE availability, staff shortages, and number of services per day can all impact a cemetery’s ability to enact best practices. We also recognizes that cemeteries have an important responsibility to provide families a meaningful tribute while also protecting their their workers and all those present. In order to give cemeteries an overview of how to decide on their policies, we have recorded a presentation and powerpoint led by our Entombment Solutions Director, Marc Yearsley, that explains how to adapt these guidelines to your cemetery’s situation. Please review the video presentation and contact Marc Yearsley at marc [at] ensureaseal [dot] com with any questions.