St. Law. Cty. funeral directors say visitation restrictions are now slightly relaxed
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 12:58 pm

At the request of New York State Funeral Directors Association (NYSFDA), Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued an exemption to “non-essential” events for funerals and visitations.

Under new guidelines, visitations may occur but with family only, and the least amount of people as possible.

Many funeral homes are following the CDC guidelines of allowing no more than 10 people, including staff, in the building during these visitations.

Funerals may occur but with the same provisions as above: immediate family only with the least amount of people present as possible.

Outdoor (graveside) services are encouraged, if able, but with the same provisions: immediate family only.

Burial or cremation is to occur as soon as possible. The bodies are not to be held to wait for restrictions to be lifted.

Local funeral homes who are NYSFDA members include: Allen-Denesha Funeral Home, Dekalb; Buck Funeral Homes, Norwood, Norfolk, Colton; Donaldson Funeral Home, Massena; Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home, Potsdam; Fox and Murray Funeral Home, Ogdensburg; Frary Funeral Home, Ogdensburg; French Funeral Homes, Gouverneur, Edwards, Star Lake; Garner Funeral Service, Potsdam; Hammill Funeral Home, Winthrop; Islandview Funeral Home, Morristown; Lawrence Funeral Home, Canton; LaRue and Pitcher Funeral Home, Ogdensburg; O’Leary Funeral Home, Canton; and Phillips Memorial Homes in Massena, Madrid and Waddington.

A prepared statement from the NYSFDA reads:

“Because of the members of the NYSFDA strongly supporting the need for a family to honor and grieve for their loved one at the time of loss is the reason this exemption was granted by Governor Cuomo. Other states are not allowing this to occur, much like what the first decision to not allow anyone to attend services; to that we are grateful. However, if families try to ‘push’ the limits on this – the exemption may be pulled and we, as funeral directors, will be forced to abide by the regulations set forth by Governor Cuomo.”