COVID-19 Update (March 17, 2020, 15:30)
Further to our statement yesterday, and our efforts to adjust our business practices in this ever-changing situation in trying to protect our communities, the families we serve, and our team, we have more changes to announce.
For the immediate future, we will no longer be hosting or coordinating any public events. We are following the guidelines set out by the Province of Ontario this morning, which has prohibited gatherings of 50 people or more, and recognizing that in small communities like ours, it would be impossible to proceed and ask people to stay away.
We want to assure you, that during such an uncertain time, we will be here for our community members during their time of need. Funerals may look different for the foreseeable future, but we will continue to do whatever we can, within the current and constantly changing landscape to support and assist families during a time of loss, recognizing their losses are no less significant, and weigh just as heavily despite the circumstance of today.
Additional changes in effect at our funeral homes:
- Our team will encourage families to have invitation only (private) visitations, funerals, and celebrations
- We would encourage everyone to call and/or make an appointment should you need to visit the funeral home, as we begin operating with less team members on-site
We know that you will understand the rationale behind making these changes, but we encourage you not to forget those friends and neighbours that experience a loss during this time and support them now, and in the weeks and months ahead when we are able to get back to ways that are more familiar. Our team remains a mere phone call away, and assure you that we are ready to assist, and have a plan for the days and weeks ahead.
In the meantime, we encourage you to stay informed, take all necessary precautions by staying home to slow the spread, and flatten the curve of COVID-19. We are also grateful for those front-line workers who do not have the opportunity to work from home that continue to work in our hospitals, grocery stores, emergency services, and other essential services.
COVID-19 - March 16, 2020
As we currently all find ourselves in a place where we are not completely sure what to do, we are going to our best to keep you informed to help you make the best choices for you and your family.
We expect that over the next couple of days, if not hours, this information will become outdated, so we encourage you to visit our website for the most current, and up-to-date information that we have available in the given moment.
More than a decade ago, our profession began the conversation around pandemic planning, and it appears that day has arrived.
At this time, we have been advised by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO), our regulatory body, that “the risk to Ontarians remains low”, as long as proper precautionary measures are practised. We have been directed and informed that we are able to still hold visitations and funerals that are open to the general public.
However, we cannot stress enough: if you do not feel comfortable being around other people during this time, we advise you not to attend. Furthermore, if you have been out of the country in the past 14 days, have displayed any symptoms, or are feeling unwell in any way, we advise you not to attend. From what we are learning in this constantly changing situation, we would also suggest that if you are immunocompromised, or elderly that you consider not attending, and rather express your sympathy to the family in another manner, such as a sympathy card, online condolence, or a phone call to the family.
We are following the advice and direction from our government agencies, but also feel that now is the time that we can each do more to protect our family, friends, and neighbours. While we believe funerals and visitations play such an important part in the grieving process, we do not want to see it come at the cost of our community’s overall health and well-being, during what it such an uncertain time for all.
Changes in effect at our funeral homes as of this morning:
– Regular disinfecting practices increased
– All visitors will be asked to use the hand-sanitizer on their way in the door
– Families have been informed to avoid all physical contact with visitors
– Any public food service has been discontinued
– We plan to live stream any services (with family permission), details will be made available on our website and Facebook page
– A reminder that funeral arrangement appointments can be done by video conference, phone, email, etc.
– Please reduce any unnecessary visits to the funeral home at this time (donations, inquiries, etc.)
During these uncertain times, we at Haskett Funeral Homes are doing our best to plan and conserve resources to be able to be of service to our communities as the COVID – 19 situation continues to change. Everything that we are doing and planning for today is being done with the plan/hope to never completely close our doors throughout this time.