Updated May 15, 2020
Out of concern for our community, and following state and local COVID 19 guidelines, our parent organization, The Wilderness Center, has made the decision to close the Interpretive Building which houses our offices until further notice.
Like everyone else we are moving forward cautiously regarding COVID-19, and are regularly reviewing best practices offered by the National Funeral Directors Association, Ohio Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control.
The safety of you, your loved ones, and our staff is our overriding goal. As the virus seems to spread through respiratory droplets at this point, we are following CDC advice to promote a safe distance between all those involved in services, and encouraging and providing facilities for hand washing and sanitizing.
1. Will burials still be conducted at Foxfield?
Yes. However, we have established the following rules for the protection of everyone:
- Stay home if you are sick, have Covid-19 symptoms, are COVID positive or have been exposed to someone who is COVID positive (or presumptively positive). We encourage and are happy to assist with recording and live-streaming services for those unable to attend, or who fall into a high-risk category. We also encourage you to consider holding memorial services at a later date when it is safe for everyone to attend.
- Please limit gatherings to 10 or fewer individuals.
- The risk of transmission is lower between people when outdoors. However, we still ask that you maintain six-feet of physical distance between attendees from outside your home while at graveside services, and that all attendees wear masks.
- Wash and/or sanitize hands after services. While we are allowing family members to serve as pallbearers, we do ask pallbearers to wear gloves for their added protection.
- Please note State of Ohio recommendations that travellers entering Ohio to self-quarantine for 14 days before engaging with the public.
- Shovels will be sanitized between uses. If you prefer to bring your own shovels, that is welcome.
2. If someone dies of COVID-19, are extraordinary measures called for? Must they be cremated or embalmed?
No. At this time, the CDC is recommending that embalming, cremation, burial, and visitation are all appropriate at this time. (March 20, 2019) However, to prevent any droplets from being expired by the lungs when moving the body, it is recommended that the decedent wear a mask.
3. Is it safe to attend the funeral of someone who has died of COVID-19?
Yes. According to the CDC: “There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.”
However, we are asking families to conform to the above safety-related requests for services performed here at Foxfield.
4. I plan to pass at home / have a home funeral / help with a home death. What else should I know?
This can be a complicated moment for those wishing to die, or assist in death or funeral outside of an institutional setting.
According to the most recent guidance from the CDC:
“People should consider not touching the body of someone who has died of COVID-19…There may be less of a chance of the virus spreading from certain types of touching, such as holding the hand or hugging after the body has been prepared for viewing. Other activities, such as kissing, washing, and shrouding should be avoided before, during, and after the body has been prepared, if possible. If washing the body or shrouding are important religious or cultural practices, families are encouraged to work with their community and religious leaders and funeral home staff on how to reduce their exposure as much as possible. At a minimum, people conducting these activities should wear disposable gloves.”
5. Will I still be able to contact Foxfield? Can Foxfield still conduct sales?
Yes. Although The Wilderness Center’s Interpretive Building is closed, our staff are working remotely and are available via phone, video conference and email. If you want to move forward with the purchase of a plot, you can begin that process by completing and returning one of our purchase forms.
While our staff have temporarily suspended in-person pre-planning conferences, the trails through the Preserve are open to the public from dawn to dusk each day. We invite you to come for a self-led visit and enjoy the peace and beauty. View a copy of our trail map here.
Of course, this may all change quickly as we continue to adapt to the situation and the most recent science. Please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions, or if we can be of any assistance, at 330-359-5235 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ohio Department of Health Stay At Home Order
- Centers for Disease Control CDC on Funerals and COVID-19
- National Funeral Directors Association https://www.nfda.org/covid-19
- March 16, 2020 Audio meeting with the NFDA and CDC Online meeting: NFDA and CDC
- Ohio Dept of Health 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH)
- Stark County Health Department 330-493-9904