CDC Urges Mourners to Livestream Funeral Services and Avoid Large Gatherings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging mourners in the United States and around the world to livestream funerals to avoid large gatherings.

The CDC said during webinar with the National Funeral Directors Association this week that there is no evidence that the living can contract coronavirus from those who have died from it. Though, the health agency warned that “people should consider not touching the body of someone who has died of COVID-19.”

Though it is unclear if you can catch the virus from a corpse, the CDC is still advising people to avoid any large gatherings where it could spread, funerals being among those places.

For those who still wish to hold a funeral, the agency suggested that they be limited to 50 guests or fewer. President Donald Trump has went even further, advising Americans to avoid any gatherings more than ten people.

Dr. David Berendes, an epidemiologist at the CDC, told Newsweek that funerals should be limited to close relatives and streamed online for other mourners.

“As you think about planning for the event, limit the number of people if possible, use live-streaming options and perhaps have only immediately family on hand,” he said. “While you’re at the event, promote social distancing etiquette, hand hygiene and try to limit other people coming in and out.”

Many funeral homes had began offering this service even before the coronavirus pandemic, though it will likely become more popular now.

In Italy, the second most affected country after China, funerals have been banned. “Instead, priests are allowed to say a simple prayer during burials attended by just a few people,” the Newsweek report notes.

At time of publishing, the CDC has confirmed 7,038 coronavirus cases in in the United States and 97 deaths from the pandemic.

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