Here’s a list of answers to questions asked in texts during the June 10, 2020 Registrar’s COVID-19 Update webinar with BAO licensees.
Q1. Are the audio/visual people funeral homes have hired to stream the burials considered “funeral staff”?
A1. They are not considered to be part of a funeral home’s staff and would count against the maximum of 10 people, as per the April 7 Registrar’sDirective.
Q2. Does an organist or soloist, paid an honorarium, count as a family member or staff?
A2. The organist would count against the maximum of 10 people in the funeral home.
Q3. Can multiple events in different parts of the building occur at the same time?
A3. No. The maximum of 10 people, not counting funeral home staff, applies to the entire funeral home as per the April 7 Registrar’s Directive.
Q4. Can a cemetery have two separate graveside services in two separate areas of the cemetery with a max of 10 people at the same time?
A4. Yes, s long as the cemetery operator can control the number of individuals on the cemetery grounds and ensure the social distancing is maintained.
Q5. If the planning is done in advance by the funeral home, would it be acceptable for 10 people to be at a graveside for a service and then, when the service is complete, the initial 10 retreat to their vehicles allowing another group of up to 10 to come forward to place flowers on the casket?
A5. Yes, if the planning is done with the support of the cemetery operator who must be able to control and ensure that there is no contact between the two groups of attendees.
Q6. Will signage at funeral home parking lots be required to post the maximum of 10, and encourage physical distancing?
A6. We encourage funeral homes post appropriate signage on their property and always encourage physical distancing of two metres (six feet) between people during the pandemic.
Q7. Should we try our best to do arrangements via telephone instead of having people coming into the building?
A7. Yes, absolutely. That has been the BAO’s advice from the start of the pandemic.
Q8. Is the BAO going to allow outdoor gatherings at funeral homes with a greater number of people, as done in other provinces?
A8. No, not at this time. Other provinces do not have the same number of COVID-19 infections and deaths as Ontario.
Q9. Is the BAO still doing inspections?
A9. Yes. We are responding to complaints.
Q10. What do you think about ‘drive-in’ funerals/visitations?
A10. We have no problem with that. In fact, we would ask licensees wanting a ‘drive-in’ option to contact us to map out how it should be done.