As the number of COVID-19 cases in New York State has declined, restrictions on funeral services have also been eased. However, protective measures are still in place to protect the health and safety of everyone who enters our facilities. In early June, New York families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 may soon receive financial assistance to cover or recover funeral expenses. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced Monday that the Federal Emergency Management Administration agreed to help pay for funerals and burials for COVID-19 victims through the funeral disaster assistance program.
The program will allow New Yorkers to give their loved one a proper burial without worrying about going into debt. To date, more than 36,300 New Yorkers have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Families will have to apply for the funds when they become available, but legislators said that those who are interested can prepare for the application process now. Funerals are one of the events that require caution and guidelines for everyone present to ensure safe services.
It is recommended to be tested after funeral services or any larger group gathering to stop the spread and find out if quarantine is necessary. CEO Michael Lanotte of the New York State Funeral Directors Association explains how things have improved a bit despite current limits on the capacity of a service. At a time, in early spring, quite sad, when grieving families weren't even allowed to enter cemeteries or had to stay in their cars if there was a graveside ceremony. But now, there is an opportunity for a graveside service to be held with larger groups than in the past.
For families, the unspeakable loss of a loved one is exacerbated by the substantial costs of funerals and burials that many people can't afford right now. It is important to be aware of restrictions for certain meetings and keep up to date with any changes in state and federal requirements related to religious and funeral services. In conclusion, while protective measures are still in place during funerals and other events, there is an opportunity for a graveside service to be held with larger groups than in the past. Financial assistance is also available for those who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19.