Page A21 MAY 2020 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS S ec t i on A COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS INDUSTRY RESPONSE TribuCast addresses COVID-19 Funeral Planning Challenges American Mortuary Coolers & Equipment helps Cook County Medical Examiner equip for COVID-19 Surge FALL BRANCH,TN— American Mortuary Coolers and Equipment has completed, in record time, the manufac- ture and installation of custom racking and lift systems and bodyboards at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s COVID-19 Surge Warehouse. The facility, located in an undisclosed location, can accommodate up to 2,000 de- ceased individuals. “When one of the larg- est medical examiner’s offic- es in the country calls need- ing help, you listen,” says TR Ward , President and Owner at American Mortuary Cool- ers and Equipment. “We were able to complete everything in only 15 days. It was a true honor to be able to contribute and make a direct difference during this tragic time.” The Cook County Medi- cal Examiners, who normal- ly handle over 5,000 bodies per year, is handling the current sit- uation well but are preparing for the eventuality of the pre- dicted surges to come in the not so distant future. Some experts expect these waves to come for quite a long time. To learn more about this proj- ect and to see the coverage that was featured on CNN and in the Chicago Tribune click this link: https://abc7chicago.com/covid- deaths-coronavirus-covid-19-re- frigerated-warehouse/6097909/ This job is just one of many re- cent projects, initiatives, and ac- complishments of the company, including: • Emergency overflow capacity equipment for 100 cases at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit • Extremely large capacity (un- disclosed number of deceased) overflow equipment for the State of New York Mental Hospital’s many locations • Equipment for multiple large counties across the United States (undisclosed locations). Total capacity currently in manufacturing exceeds 5,000 bodies • Manufactured custom stain- less steel racking systems to increase capacity (quantity undisclosed) for the Long Is- land Crematory in Long Is- land, NY in only 10 days • Numerous projects with 100+ capacity requirements for SCI locations across the country • 24 Hour transit time (where possible) using our fleet of American Mortuary trucks • The fastest lead-time in the in- dustry: 3-4 weeks from com- pletion of an order on select cooler systems. Even quicker for those living in New York, California, New Jersey, Louisi- ana, Washington or Michigan. • Launched a brand-new com- prehensive website that in- cludes a Capacity Calcula- tor to assist you in choosing the right size cooler for your needs. Visit https://mymortu- arycooler.com/ Since 2012 American Mortu- ary Coolers and Equipment has provided reliable cost-effective cooler equipment to meet the massive demand in the funeral industry. American Mortu- ary Coolers and Equipment is the larg- est mortuary cooler manufacturer in the world. Sister company Funeral Source One was launched in March of 2009 and has been providing funeral supplies and equipment to hundreds of firms across the US, Canada, and Australia. Funeral Source One and American Mortuary Coolers pledge to manufac- ture and provide affordable products, matching any price elsewhere, without compromising the best in quality, dura- bility, and longevity. A Statement from NFDA President R. Bryant Hightower Jr., CFSP: Recommendations for Safe Funeral Gatherings during Pandemic WILTON,CT— With the rapid spread of COVID-19 and social distancing orders in place across the country, funeral di- rectors are finding themselves in a dif- ficult situation. How can you conduct a funeral service to meet the needs of fam- ily and friends if the current health mea- sures prevent assemblies of more than ten individuals? TribuCast™ hopes to assist funeral planners as they face these unprecedent- ed changes to societal rules and safety guidelines. The company developed the Remote Attendance System specifically for today’s challenges, allowing you to broad- cast a service from almost any location. This private, portable system can be per- sonalized and allows relatives, co-workers, and friends to virtually attend the funer- al without compromising their health or breaking the social distancing guidelines. While guests can’t physically attend fu- nerals due to the coronavirus pandemic, the TribuCast Remote Attendance System offers an alternative that is a close repli- ca of actually being there. The interactive touch points – like viewing the service program, photos, eulogies, and memora- bilia - creates an experience that is similar to attending the funeral in-person. To use, you need to register with the pay-per-use system and personalize your TribuCast. The TribuCast can be ac- cessed through a private link that fam- ily members provide to guests and can be viewed anywhere with appropriate wi-fi or cellular service. For more infor- mation, funeral directors or staff mem- bers can call 800-782-0104 or go to www.TribuCast.com/Memorials. BROOKFIELD,WI— The importance of having a funeral to honor the deceased and giving loved ones an opportunity to celebrate that life and begin to grieve is unquestioned. While the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is deeply com- mitted to promoting the value of a funeral, the unprecedented novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic requires the funeral profession to balance its long-held values with the need to: flat- ten the curve of the pandemic; protect the health of attendees, funeral home staff and clergy/ celebrant; and reduce the po- tential for community spread and mass-fatalities. Therefore, the association rec- ommends that funeral homes limit the size of services to no more than 10 of the decedent’s next-of-kin until further notice. Issuing this recommendation is a serious step – one NFDA lead- ers never imagined taking. How- ever, in light of the rising rate of infection and increasing deaths, it is a step they felt was necessary to prevent community spread of and deaths due to COVID-19. NFDA recognizes this limit will be very difficult for fami- lies who are grieving the death of a loved one, but asks for their understanding during this challenging time. Funeral directors will continue to do all they can to help families un- derstand the options they have for commemorating the life of a loved one in a manner that is safe for everyone involved. This guidance is based on “The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America” developed to slow the spread of CO- VID-19. NFDA urges funeral directors to follow these rec- ommendations for the safety of their funeral home’s staff and the families and community they serve. NFDA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary. NFDA’s Specific Recommendations Unless a state’s guidelines are more restrictive, NFDA strong- ly recommends that, until further notice, funerals be limited to no more than 10 of the decedent’s next-of-kin; this does not in- clude funeral home staff, the clergy/celebrant or cemetery staff. NFDA also recommends services be held at the gravesite whenever possible; however, the nature of the disposition, such as cremation, may mean a service in the funeral home is more appropriate. Funeral homes should also encourage attendees to follow current social distancing guidelines by setting up seating accordingly. NFDA encourages funeral homes to discuss federal, state and local mandates and recommendations – as well as guide- lines issued by local cemeteries – with families as they are planning services. To keep families and funeral home staff safe, NFDA has shared recommendations with funeral homes about how technology, such as video conferencing, can be used for mak- ing funeral arrangements in lieu of an in-person arrange- ment conference. Tools such as webcasting or livestream- ing can be used to broadcast funeral or memorial services to family and friends who are unable to attend a service. For more information, visit www.nfda.org. R. Bryant Hightower, Jr.