Now that the State of Texas is in Phase 1 of reopening, many people still have questions of how this affects public gatherings, such as funerals.
According to Kasi Welch Baker, Owner of Nalley-Pickle and Welch Funeral Home, one of the most common misconceptions that people have is if a person passes away with COVID-19, family members or friends won’t be able to see the body.
Baker told Kbest News that Nalley-Pickle and Welch Funeral Home is still handling services and giving families the options that they’ve always had.
“We don’t want to take anything away from them getting to have all of those options and choices because it's a very difficult time. Sometimes, these families have not been able to see their loved ones. Because of [COVID-19], they’re not allowing a lot of visitors, they’re not allowing a lot of people in nursing homes and hospitals. So, they haven’t had that opportunity to say goodbye, and so we want to try to give them all of those options and time that they need to be able to grieve, just like we always have,” said Baker.
Baker stated that the funeral home is following the guidelines put in place by Governor Greg Abbott and those from the CDC for everyone’s safety. She stated that their staff is equipped with safety equipment, consistently sanitizing the facilities throughout the day, and finding ways to be flexible to let families have viewings while also practicing social distancing.
According to Baker, the funeral home is able to spread people out and bring them into the area with grouping so that there’s very few people at a time. By doing this, everyone still gets to do all of the things that they’re used to doing, and having all of those aspects of a traditional service but all within the parameters that have been set for COVID-19 to keep everyone safe.
Baker advised that if someone passes with COVID-19, precautions are taken, but they are the same precautions that they take with every person that they care for. She advised that whether the death is COVID-19 related or not, they want every family to have the same choices and be treated exactly the same.
Baker told KBest News that Nalley-Pickle and Welch Funeral Home plans to continue adhering to the social distancing guidelines currently in place until Governor Greg Abbott has given the state the full release to go back to normal operations.