Coronavirus affecting funeral arrangements in Nebraska

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March 19, 2020 - 4:13pm

Restrictions on the size of gatherings due to the coronavirus are having an effect on funerals.

Take a look at obituaries these days, and you may see that services have been postponed to a later date. But some funeral homes say they’re going ahead with modified observances. At Omaha’s Heafey-Hoffman-Dworak-Cutler Home, owner Bill Cutler says families are adapting to the changes.

“Visitations are limited to 10 people at a time. And so we've honored that. We have a big facility. So we have several different rooms. So if you have 10 people, and then you wait until those people are finished, and then 10 more can go in. And it's really remarkable that people really are accepting of it and understand the situation,” Cutler said.

Similarly, at the All Faiths Funeral Home in Grand Island, owner Dan Naranjo says funerals are changing.

“We are suggesting graveside services only, and perhaps when this is all over we will have maybe a life celebration service at a later date. We are extending our visitation hours as well to where we're encouraging people to come in to sign the guestbook pay their respects. But it's not like meet and greet time with the family,” Naranjo said.

Cutler estimates 60 percent of families he serves are opting to do more later. And both he and Naranjo say live-streaming of funeral services is also an option.

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