Richmond Funeral Home Corona Virus Update

Last Updated on 01-05-2020

On 27th April 2020 New Zealand moved Level 3 of the Covid-19 alert system. This means that for there are some changes to the restrictions that effect funerals.

The basis of Level 3 Government Restrictions on funerals are as follows:

Small private funeral services can be held with a maximum attendance of 10 people. There are strict guidelines regarding social distancing and Funeral Home Chapels are identified as a place where the environment can be controlled and meet Level 3 guidelines and restrictions. (webcasting available in the Richmond Chapel will allow family and friends to watch the service as it happens or later)

Viewing is again available but must be in the Funeral Home environment, deceased persons must remain in the care of ‘Registered Funeral Directors’ and family members from different bubbles can view at different times.

Funeral Homes are required to keep an attendance register of people attending Viewings and Funerals, therefore families will be required to provide contact information of those visiting the funeral home.

The staff at Richmond Funeral Home know the meaning and value of having a funeral or farewell and know this will be deeply distressing for all within our community.

The team at Richmond Funeral Home are committed to keeping our staff, their families, the families we serve, and our communities safe.

The care, respect and dignity of your loved ones are at the forefront of any decisions we make and you can be assured that the high standards of care provided by the team at Richmond Funeral Home will continue.

We are an essential Service therefore we will be available for you however we will be operating under strict guidelines and will only be able to provide services within those guidelines.

Therefore:
From Wednesday 25th March 2020 our offices will be closed to the public.

Our Availability to provide our core services will NOT Change

  • Our phone will continue to be answered 24 hours.
  • We will priorities calls and respond as soon as possible.
  • Our availability to transfer the deceased into our care and to care for
  • the deceased will not change.
  • We will provide funeral arrangements for families – in accordance with the latest COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Our team will be kept up to date with COVID-19 information and will be able to discuss options, give you information and offer advice that will allow you to make informed decisions regarding any arrangements you wish to make.

Informing us of a Death:
When someone dies and you make that first call to us, in addition to our usual questions we will ask for confirmation that anybody present has had the opportunity to say their goodbyes as we will require the room/facility to be vacated when we transfer your loved one into our care. This is for the safety of our staff.

Transfer:
Our staff will wear PPE (gloves and facemask) when they arrive. Please be prepared for this as although you may be clear of the room/facility you may still be on site and see us bringing your loved one into our care. If you are, our staff will also maintain physical distance from you. Additionally, a facemask may be placed on the deceased. This is because air can be exhaled as we transfer onto our stretcher. Again, these measures are for the safety of all involved.

Viewing:
There are some guidelines around viewing. Viewings need to be managed by the funeral home and it is important to phone to arrange a time for viewing.
Please feel free to discuss this with one of our team.

You may consider having your loved one embalmed and held until these restrictions are over, however presently it is unknown how long this may be. Please feel free to discuss this option with us

Arrangement for Burial/Cremation:
We will conduct all arrangements initially over the phone and using email/Fax etc. We will work with you to make this time as easy as possible given the difficult restrictions the Ministry of Health have placed on the Funeral profession

Burial
Burials will still be taking place however attending the cemetery is again restricted to the 10 person Limit. There are strict guidelines for this and please feel free to discuss this further with one of our team.

Cremation
Cremations can take place as soon as the necessary paperwork has been completed and signed by a medical referee. The timing of the cremation will depend on Family wishes regarding viewing and whether they wish to have a Funeral service or other family time within the Level 3 guidelines.

Memorial Service
We firmly believe in the value to the community of holding a funeral, which is why our first recommendation if someone you love dies while we are under alert level 4 is to arrange a delayed memorial service. This means that a burial or cremation will take place in the days shortly following death and we will work with you to plan the memorial service for later. We will do everything we usually do in guiding you through your options and, when we are able to set a date, will ensure you still unite and remember appropriately with your family and friends.

A Pending Death:
For families who have a pending death in their family we recommend that you call us if you have any questions. You may even wish to put some pre-arrangements in place beforehand.
Richmond Funeral Home staff will be available to have a discussion with families to rest uncertainties, answer questions and to offer re-assurance during this time. Sometimes to have a discussion with us beforehand can free some of the anxiety and worry of the unknown.

Enquires/Reassurance/Pre-need and pre-arrangements:
Be assured we will continue to be available for you and I encourage you to call or email us if you have any queries. We will be happy to email out personalised information for a specific enquiry.
Please feel free to contact us on – 06 379-7616 for immediate attention
Or
email [email protected]

In summary:
Richmond Funeral Home will continue to be there for you, however the services we provide and how we provide them will be different due to COVID-19 on our Country’s Level 3 alert.

Richmond Funeral Home will follow the advice of New Zealand Authorities and any guidelines or regulations that Government may put in place at this time.
In all we do we must consider your health, the health of our staff, and care and dignity of the deceased.

Please be assured our trained staff already practice a high standard of care and are trained in caring and preparing the deceased.

We ask that if you have any concerns or if you know or suspect the deceased or any one of your family members may have been in contact with potentially infected people that you advise us.The inclusion of this information on this website is designed to be reassuring and helpful.  If you require further information we suggest you visit the following useful website:

New Zealand Ministry of Health Covid 19 Information