Funerals

When making funeral arrangements, consider factors that impact the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including vaccination status of yourself and other attendees, how closely and for how long you will interact with people, the number of different people with whom you will interact, how well the place of grieving is ventilated, and whether other people will be wearing face coverings. Your own ability to wear a face covering and risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19 may be important considerations as well. More information about stopping the spread of COVID-19 can be found here

Relative Risk Levels for Funerals:

Lower Risk:

  • Memorial services are only provided in a virtual or online format. 
  • Burial services are offered graveside only, with individuals from only the same household present. 
  • All persons wear cloth face coverings (if able). 
  • Only individuals who live in the same household share a car or limousine ride between the church and cemetery.
  • A social event does not accompany the service.

Moderate Risk:

  • Small in-person services are permitted. Individuals from different households remain spaced at least six feet apart and do not share objects. 
  • All persons wear cloth face coverings (if able). 
  • Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting practices are implemented. 
  • Service attendees come from the same local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, county). 
  • A small social event accompanies the service, where pre-packaged meal boxes or bags are provided to each attendee instead of a buffet or family-style meal.

Higher Risk:

  • Standard services are resumed. 
  • Large in-person gatherings are held where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least six feet apart. 
  • Food is served “potluck” or family style. 
  • Attendees come from outside the local geographic area.

Questions about COVID-19 and faith-based organizations can be addressed to: Office of Diversity DEIDirector@governor.virginia.gov and Partners in Prayer and Prevention from the Virginia Department of Health at OHE@vdh.virginia.gov.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. Use this link to learn more.