Announcements

Minnesota Funeral Homes are Prepared to Safely Care for Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Minnesota Funeral Homes remain committed and prepared to safely care for the families they serve during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Whenever possible, they will continue to enable families to participate in the rituals that are most important to them as well as following appropriate guidelines.

According to the CDC, at this time, there is no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of confirmed or suspected COVID-19; however, federal, state and local public health guidance has limited the size of gathering a family is able to plan. Depending on a family’s preferences, their loved one can be safely embalmed. Families may choose either burial or cremation as usual.

“In Minnesota we recognize our responsibility to protect the health of those we are privileged to serve,” said Chris Jacobson, funeral director and president of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association (MFDA).  “We will continue to guide families, as we always have, in ways they can meaningfully commemorate the life of their loved one, while adhering to the guidance issued by federal, state and local public health officials.”

Jacobson continued, “Our members remain vigilant about cleaning our facilities and ensuring we’re all following recommended healthy habits, such as staying home when sick, washing our hands, and covering coughs and sneezes. The CDC and our state and local public health officials have offered a lot of helpful guidance for businesses on this topic, which we continue to follow.”

As a member of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), MFDA regularly receives information via NFDA from the CDC, Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies about the evolution of COVID-19 in the United States.  In addition, MFDA is in close communication with the Minnesota Department of Health, the Governor's office and key legislators

  • What is the current COVID-19 guidance for funerals in Minnesota as of March 15, 2021?

    What is the current COVID-19 guidance for funerals in Minnesota as of Monday, March 15, 2021?

    Today, Governor Walz announced Executive Order 21-11, effective Monday, March 15th, 2021 at 12:00pm. EO 21-11 rescinds the previous capacity restrictions (50%) and beginning Monday, funeral services, ceremonies, and visitations may be conducted at 100% capacity. As with current requirements, funeral homes must develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in accordance with applicable guidance available on the Stay Safe Guidance for Places of Worship website – masking and social distancing are still required. Receptions must not exceed 50% of normal occupancy, with a 250 person maximum, and food and beverage is prohibited between the hours of 11:00pm and 4:00am. We’re gathering information on the next phase of easing the restrictions (beginning April 1st) with regards to receptions, and will share guidance when it becomes available.

     

    Additional information on EO 21-11 can be found on the Stay Safe Minnesota website.

  • What is the current COVID-19 guidance for funerals in Minnesota as of Feb 13?

    What is the current COVID-19 guidance for funerals in Minnesota as of Feb 13?

    Governor Walz signed Executive Order 21-07 effective February 13, 2021. Funeral services and ceremonies are unchanged – the current limit of 50% capacity remains in place. The Executive Order makes changes to celebrations and receptions in venues and increases the capacity limits. More information below.

    1. For a service or ceremony at a funeral home, a place of worship, or other venue, capacity must be limited to allow for 6 feet of social distancing, up to a maximum of 50% capacity. For this type of activity, follow the guidance below and the Preparedness Plan Requirements for Faith-Based Communities, Places of Worship, Weddings, and Funerals (www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/safefaith.pdf).

    2. For a time to gather or visit without food and beverages, capacity must be limited to allow for 6 feet of social distancing, no more than 25% capacity, and no more than 250 people, whichever is less. For this type of activity, follow Requirements for Celebrations and Significant Life Events (www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/safeevents.pdf).

    3. When sharing food and beverages or a meal, capacity must be limited to allow for 6 feet of social distancing, and no more than 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is less. For this type of activity, follow Requirements for Celebrations and Significant Life Events (www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/safeevents.pdf).

    We will share the guidance from the Department of Health when it becomes available.

     

    The following guidance has recently been updated, and is now available on the MDH Mortuary Science website:
    Planning Funeral and Memorial Services during COVID-19 (PDF) (updated 1/15/21)
    Preparedness Plan Requirements for Faith-Based Communities, Places of Worship, Weddings, and Funerals (PDF) (updated 2/12/21)

    In addition, links to the following resources have been added:
    Guidance for Vehicle Gatherings, Parades, and Drive-ins (PDF) (updated 2/12/21)
    Indoor Air Considerations: COVID-19


    For more information, see the Mortuary Science website.

     

    Visitations are considered part of the funeral ceremony - Please see more on this subject in INTERNAL MEMORANDUM REGARDING GOV. WALZ’S NOV. 10 EMERGENCY EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-96

     

    If you are planning to hold funerals greater than 10 people at your funeral home, it is a requirement to have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

    COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template and instructions (updated July 22, 2020) – Word document | PDF

    Translated versions of Word document (updated June 15, 2020) – Hmong | Somali | Spanish | Burmese

    All businesses are required to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that complies with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) COVID-19 guidelines and OSHA standards.

    If you are an MFDA member and have questions regarding the EO, please contact MFDA at info@mnfuneral.org or 763-416-0124 before calling Mr. Sharkey. Or post your question on the members-only MFDA Online Community.

  • Online Community Becoming Members-Only on May 1

    Our MFDA Online Community (OC) has provided a real-time way to allow private discussions with funeral directors and funeral industry professionals around the state, which has proved to be a valuable resource during COVID-19. 

    As of Friday, May 1, our MFDA OC will become a members-only community and OC access and daily digest emails will stop for non-members.  We hope you join your fellow funeral professional colleagues by joining as a Firm, Individual, or Allied member of MFDA. Visit here to learn more about these membership options and join online or download a PDF application Firm | Individual | Allied.  

    If you don’t want to lose OC access tomorrow and intend to join, please email Miki at mtufto@mnfuneral.org to let us know and continue your access to the MFDA OC and other member benefits.