Following The Regulations For Funerals


During the COVID-19 pandemic, rules and regulations change frequently.

Sarah Strohoman, Palo Alto County Public Health Driector, addressed the number of people who can attend funerals in an article in The Democrat on Nov. 19. A clarification on regulations Iowa funeral homes must follow is in order.

Regulations for Iowa funeral homes was updated in Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proclamation last week.

Funeral homes and directors must follow strict regulations. Information was provided by Tracey Mattice, Martin-Mattice Funeral Home, Emmetsburg.

As of now, this is where things stand in the State of Iowa:

The proclamation went into effect on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020 and goes through at least Dec. 10, 2020.

“If there is an event you are hosting at your funeral home or one that is being held at a church - funeral, graveside service - and it is a religious/spiritual service, it is not subject to the limit on 15 people indoors or 30 outdoors. It is, however, limited by social distancing (between households) in the amount of space being utilized for the event. Masks must be required.

“Other events - arrangement conferences, pre-arrangements, family viewings, visitations, funeral luncheons, etc. - are limited to 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors. These limits include any funeral directors, funeral home staff and clergy present. Masks must be required.”

She concluded, “Basically for visitations, funeral homes can have 15 people in at one time. Our hope is that the line will continue to flow so everyone has an opportunity to come through. Funerals are only limited in number based on social distancing whether at church.”