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Under COVID-19 Protocols, Interest In Virtual Funerals Grows

Brian Bull/U.S. Navy

Between social distancing and limits on gatherings, funeral homes are seeing more interest in virtual memorial services during the pandemic.

Usually, live streaming of funerals were for service members stationed overseas, or for elderly or infirm relatives who couldn’t travel. But lately, there’s been a surge in inquiries according to Wally Ordeman.  He’s interim executive director for the Oregon Funeral Directors Association.

“Grief goes on. That doesn’t stop because of a virus," he says.  "People need to still have that virtual hug if you will, because the pain is there any time there’s a death regardless of what the circumstances are, whether it’s COVID or not.”

Ordeman says funeral directors are in a tight spot. They not only work to accommodate a grieving family’s wishes, but also aim to comply with social responsibility such as during this pandemic. He adds staff are observing all safety protocols with funeral facilities, which includes disinfecting tables and gurneys.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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