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COVID-19 Information


Brown-Forward Funeral Home remains committed and prepared to safely care for the families it serves during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Whenever possible, we will continue to enable families to participate in the rituals that are most important to them. And according to the CDC, at this time, there is no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of confirmed or suspected COVID-19; however, federal, state and local public health guidance may impact the size of gathering a family is able to plan. Depending on a family’s preferences, their loved one can be safely embalmed. Families may choose either burial or cremation as usual. At Brown-Forward, we recognize our responsibility to protect the health of those we are privileged to serve. We will continue to guide families, as we always have, in ways they can meaningfully commemorate the life of their loved one, while adhering to the guidance issued by federal, state and local public health officials.  Our staff remains vigilant about cleaning our facilities and ensuring we’re all following recommended healthy habits, such as staying home when sick, washing our hands, and covering coughs and sneezes. The CDC and our state and local public health officials have offered a lot of helpful guidance for businesses on this topic, which we continue to follow.  A member of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) regularly receives information via NFDA from the CDC, Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies about the evolution of COVID-19 in the United States. NFDA continues to lead the conversation with federal officials about the role of funeral service as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are including some of the FAQs we’re getting here, but feel free to call our licensed funeral directors with any other concerns or questions by phone (216-752-1200), email (info@brown-forward.com) or by submitting a contact form through our website (https://www.brown-forward.com/contact-us).     

What options do we have if a death has occurred?

If a family is apprehensive about an open public event, there are options. A service tailored to the family’s situation and desires is always what we strive to provide.    

   - We can now webcast or record an event anywhere so that anyone with a password can watch at home via computer. 

   - Services can be delayed until such time as the crisis subsides. We can follow the Victorian tradition of funerals by invitation only.  

    - If the surviving family is in quarantine, out of town or if they feel more comfortable from home, arrangements can be made via telephone, email or video conferencing             and can normally be delayed for a reasonable period.  

We are ready, willing and able to handle whatever deathcare needs arise in our community.

Must we have an immediate disposition?

There is no reason not to have an open casket or viewing, EVEN IF the person died of the virus. Victims may be buried or cremated—there is no legal or practical necessity for unusual disposition practices as are being reported overseas. With some serious diseases, this has and could occur. Over the years, our firm, our staff and funeral service have dealt with many diseases that threatened public health. Several of them have been far more concerning from a mortality standpoint than the current pandemic. Annual flu deaths in the U.S. are significant each year. . 

Our protocols and staff are designed to deal with contagious diseases. Our ventilation systems are designed to separate the care center air from the rest of the buildings. Proper embalming is designed to make the body safe for public viewing. Grieving, mourning, honoring the body and saying good-bye to a loved one are important and necessary. Death is rarely convenient and the current situation, while requiring flexibility, should not prevent families from meeting their immediate needs in this regard.    


Can we view the body if it is not embalmed? 

We typically allow and encourage direct cremation families to have an unembalmed viewing or I.D. prior to cremation for the immediate family members. Due to the current situation, we are suspending this practice temporarily for the protection of family members, other visitors to the facilities and our staff members. All viewing must be preceded by embalming and disinfection until the COVID-19 situation abates. Embalming is only performed with permission of the next-of-kin.

Resources for more COVID-19 information:

- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

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