Dothan funeral home explains process for embalming bodies with COVID-19

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — While funeral homes are doing services differently now due to the pandemic, some are also taking extra safety precautions when embalming bodies.

According to Sunset Memorial Funeral Director Andrew Byrd, no reports have said that COVID-19 can transfer from a dead person to a living one.

“There has been no record of the virus going from someone who has passed away to a living person,” Sunset Memorial funeral director Andrew Byrd said.

Despite this, Byrd said the funeral home is taking extra precautions while embalming bodies.

“Wearing PPE, protective equipment, of course, you know wearing the gown, the gloves, and things of that nature,” Byrd said.

According to the CDC, the only way a living person could get COVID-19 would be through nasal or mouth droplets from the deceased person. Byrd said that’s why morticians, as well as the deceased, are covered during the embalming process.

“Covering the deceased over their mouths, their nasal passages where droplets could come from,” Byrd said.

However, the chances of COVID-19 transmission between the living and deceased are slim.

Once the embalming process is done, morticians continue taking precautions.

“We sanitize all the equipment, of course, Clorox, Lysol, any disinfectant or antimicrobial soap that we have, cleans the area to of course get rid of the virus,” Byrd said.

According to the CDC, a person can still test positive for COVID-19 up to three days after their death.

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