The NAFD is acutely aware that funeral directors are anxious for specific guidance about next steps for caring for people who have died from Coronavirus. We are in regular touch with the government to urge them to provide answers to our questions and have been invited to comment on draft advice from Public Health England (PHE) on the handling of deceased persons known to have been infected by COVID-19. We hope the final guidance will be published shortly, and we will circulate this as soon as we receive it – as well as posting on this website.
The NAFD is attending a meeting with the Cabinet Office on 17 March 2020 when we will hear, and have the opportunity to give feedback on, the interventions the Government is planning to make to ensure that systems can cope with extra number deaths resulting from people being infected with COVID-19. We will update you as soon as we can after this meeting.
In the meantime, the advice remains to operate your funeral business as normal, paying close attention to use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and infection control procedures – as well as maintaining good cleaning and hygiene routines.
In particular, you are advised to read the HSE document on infection control procedures. There is specific guidance on page 21 about working with deceased people suspected of being infected with an airborne virus; on page 23 about collection and transport of deceased; in Appendix 1 on route of transmission, particularly airborne and in Appendix 3, on deep cleaning.
COVID-19 specific use of PPE
There is a link to a guide for COVID-19-specific use of PPE on the Pandemic Planning page of the NAFD website. It is one of several useful documents that may help your business at this time.
Access the Pandemic Planning page by clicking here: https://nafd.org.uk/pandemic-planning/