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As of July 24, 2020, we have updated this Covid-19 Pandemic announcement page to reflect the current situation in Minnesota with regard to the funeral industry.
In an effort to continue to keep the community and vulnerable populations safe, Governor Walz has revised his previous Executive Order as it pertains to places of worship, funeral homes and other venues that offer gathering space for weddings, funerals, and planned services such as worship, rituals, prayer meetings, scripture studies, may host such services with over 10 people, provided that they adhere to the following requirements: 1) In all settings, ensure a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing between households. 2) In indoor settings, occupancy must not exceed 50 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal, with a maximum of 250 people in a single self-contained space. 3) In outdoor settings, gatherings must not exceed 250 individuals. 4) Develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in accordance with guidance developed by the Minnesota Department of Health (see below). 5) All attendees and employees of the business must abide by the July 25, 2020 executive order and wear a mask indoors.
According to the Center for Disease Control (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, as outlined above, federal, state and local public health guidance impacts 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 Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home, 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 helpful guidance for businesses on this topic, which we continue to follow.
A member of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home 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.
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home, Inc.
As President of Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home, Inc., I am committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all of our employees, the families we serve, and the general public with whom we interact in the performance of our work duties. To ensure we have as safe and healthy of a workplace as possible, I have developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers and employees are all responsible for implementing this plan, with the goal of mitigating the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces and communities. Doing so requires full cooperation among our employees, management, customers and those members of the public with whom we interact. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our workplaces.
Management and employees are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home managers and supervisors have my full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy and I encourage employees to ask questions, raise safety and health concerns and offer suggestions related to the plan and its implementation.
At Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home, we recognize that our employees are our most important asset. For that reason, I am serious about safety and health and keeping our employees working during these unprecedented times. Employee involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. I have involved all employees in this process by addressing their concerns, receiving their suggestions and feedback and integrating that information into the Plan. Hoplin-Hitchcock’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows State of Minnesota Industry Guidance for our business, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines, federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards related to safety and health precautions required in response to COVID-19 and applicable executive orders.
The plan addresses the following:
Thank you for your patience at this time as we strive to help families going through a time of loss while keeping our community safe.
Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home, Inc.
Nancy L. Hitchcock, President