As COVID-19 continues to affect business across the Valley, funeral services and weddings are no exception. Resorts and funeral homes across Arizona continue to face hardship as the stay-at-home order lightens.
Gov. Doug Ducey implemented an official stay-at-home order March 31 to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, then extended the order twice.
While Ducey listed funeral services as an essential business to remain open, it has not been business as usual, since large gatherings are still prohibited.
For Victoria Megill, a Glendale resident, this means not being able to have a funeral for her brother who died in hospice.
“Not being able to embrace the family physically, look through photographs or tell stories together has been a challenge,” she said.
According to Judith Stapley, executive director of the Arizona Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, funeral workers have to exercise extreme caution when working with customers, especially when access to technology is limited.
“Some areas cater to older, retired populations; some don’t have computers, so they’re not able to do DocuSign and things online,” Stapley said.
Stapley said that in some cases, the funeral home workers have to drop off the paperwork at the front door for customers to sign.
“(The workers) are trying to do the right thing with social distancing and protecting consumers, but they still have to serve,” Stapley said. “Death doesn’t stop.”
She stresses that funeral workers and planners face pressure from multiple sources, saying that they’re doing too much or not enough.
“We get yelled at either way. But we have guidelines and recommendations we need to follow.”