More people at funerals adds 'wonderful visible network of support,' says director

·1 min read
Funerals can now have two cohorts of 50, instead of just one.  (Kzenon/Shutterstock - image credit)
Funerals can now have two cohorts of 50, instead of just one. (Kzenon/Shutterstock - image credit)

A Charlottetown funeral director is welcoming the news that the Chief Public Health Office is increasing the number of people allowed to attend funerals.

At her regular COVID-19 pandemic briefing Tuesday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced that, effectively immediately, funerals could have two cohorts of 50 people in attendance, rather than just one.

"Many families have lost loved ones during the pandemic. COVID-19 has interfered with our usual traditions of mourning and supporting families during their time of loss," Morrison said Tuesday.

"The pandemic has interrupted this grieving process for families and friends."

Being able to accommodate an additional cohort certainly lends itself to the closeness of Prince Edward Island. — Jodi Swan

Funeral director Jodi Swan said the change will have positive effect.

"Additional attendees, although still physically distanced, provide a wonderful visible network of support for the family," said Swan, a board member with the P.E.I. Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association.

"We're not able to do things as we would've traditionally done, but being able to accommodate an additional cohort certainly lends itself to the closeness of Prince Edward Island and its residents."

Each funeral home will have to have an operational plan approved for accommodating the second cohort. Some homes will likely not have large enough rooms, said Swan, and that could lead more people to choosing churches as venues.

More from CBC P.E.I.