COVID-19 Update - Limited Facility Access

GUIDELINES, May 11, 2020

At Serenity we believe that gathering and supporting one another at a time of loss is important.  This is what we have practiced for over 60 years.

At the beginning, as an effort to curb transmission of COVID 19, the State of Alabama and the CDC placed into effect guidelines for gatherings of no more than 10 people.  Today the Governor of Alabama has issued an amendment.  Serenity Funeral Home will continue to adhere to original 10 person limitation firmly, limited to immediate family.  We will relax gathering limits in our Cemeteries following the Governors guidelines.  Governor Ivey reminds Alabamians that all non-work gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are prohibited.

What’s different?

Current limitations are mostly related to numbers of persons present at a gathering.  Please know we are giving everything we have to you and your family during this difficult time.  We are taking every precaution to prevent transmission of this deadly disease.  We are very aware that if our team gets sick, there’s nobody to take care of the deceased.

We at Serenity Funeral Home will abide the CDC and government guidelines to ensure the safety of our personnel and your family.  We ask that those at risk or those not feeling well stay home and encourage the community to reach out to the family via the memorial webpage at www.serenityfuneralhome.com or by other virtual means.

The following are the temporary service options offered by Serenity:

SERVICE OPTIONS:

1. A private family viewing for 90 minutes maximum and limit the guests to 10 family members.  If this is selected, we will allow ONE minister to be present to conduct a service with the ten family members present.

Virtual options are available for those not present to watch the service.  This is a great alternative that connects all of the family and friends.  The deceased cannot be viewed virtually on Funeral Home equipment. Although virtual options are available, they are subject to WIFI and cellular internet connections and those connections and quality are NOT guaranteed.

Graveside service options are available as long as the gathering is limited to 10 family members at the gravesite.   All non-work gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are prohibited, so being outside does not eliminate that guideline.

As normal, we will process to the cemetery from the funeral home when allowed and will lead the procession with the hearse.  The minister can drive his/her own car to the cemetery and the family can do the same. The family will be responsible for parking their cars in the procession under the direction of the funeral director.

Tents can be used but no chairs will be placed so as to promote social distancing.

From the beginning of this pandemic, we made the decision to find ways to help our community celebrate life.  We are happy to schedule a memorial service for a later date so that the public can share the support for the family while celebrating a life lived. Many times, we have only a few days to arrange a personal celebration under normal circumstances. This postponed memorial will allow us to truly collaborate with the family to create a personal and meaningful celebration.

There will be no additional charge for this postponed memorial service. Any service fees will be paid at the time of arrangements as normal.

2. If there are more than 10 family members, we will split the visitation into 45 minute intervals, allowing 10 family members to be present for the first 45 minutes.  After the first 45 minutes they will be asked to leave the building, it will then be sanitized, and then we will invite the next 10 family members to visit for 45 minutes. We will not allow any more than 20 total family members to view. If this type of viewing is selected, NO formal ceremony will take place now because all cannot be present at the same time. We are happy to schedule that formal ceremony for a later date at no additional cost.

Please advise family members that are at risk or not feeling well to stay home. Please educate those in attendance on best hygiene practices (washing hands, covering coughs, etc.). We have hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, and tissue for your convenience.

Thank you for your understanding. These and other local guidelines are subject to change without notice. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a cremation schedule during this time. That schedule is subject to change at a moment’s notice, and scheduled cremations may be delayed or moved up due to infectious disease and other contributing factors.

Please know we are giving everything we have to you and your family during this difficult time.



COVID-19 Update - Limited Facility Access

Effective March 24, 2020.  In keeping with our Core Values, the first of which is the Golden Rule, it is our responsibility to one another and to the broader communities we serve to minimize the transition of this highly contagious virus. As your Funeral Service provider, we are committed to ensuring you receive uninterrupted service and we appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.

Serenity remains committed to keeping our clients, families, and community safe. Effective March 24, 2020, we will transition to limited access of our business office, lobbies, funeral home, and cemeteries in response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Rest assured, we are open for business and are well-prepared to continue serving you.

While we are maintaining our regular operations, access to our facilities will be limited. We ask that our clients please do the following:

·  Should the need to conduct business at our office arise, we continue to offer personal service. Prior to arriving at our facility, simply call (251) 653-4781 and an associate will guide you through completing your transaction. If you need access to our facility, they can walk you through that as well.

·  If you have questions on how to complete a remote payment on your account, please contact our Business Office at (251) 653-4781.

·  When visiting the office, please follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing. Our staff will assist you with completing in-person transactions. Meetings with our clients will be conducted via teleconference over the coming weeks. Should you have the need to meet in person, please call for an appointment.

·  As always, a Funeral Director, Family Service Counselor is available to answer any questions or handle any need. Office numbers can be found on our Website at www.serenityfuneralhome.com

·  Ongoing Communication

The local and national guidance is rapidly changing, and we will continue to communicate with you as the situation evolves. Please visit our website, serenityfuneralhome.com for the most up-to-date information from Serenity. As always, we are available to assist you via phone at (251) 653-4781.



SERENITY’S RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS

Effective March 23, 2020.  Serenity is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for our valued staff and helping the community we serve to do the same.  We have been closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak according to the guidelines and recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

We want to share with you the actions we are taking to help protect our staff and the families we serve.

Our staff has been trained to follow the public health authorities’ guidance regarding hygiene and personal travel, and we’ve reinforced existing policy encouraging staff who exhibit flu-like symptoms to stay home and consult with a medical professional.  We have also posted signage on doors and within our locations advising visitors to make responsible decisions about attending services in person if they feel symptomatic.

·         We want you to know that we are open and available to help you and that we still respond to calls when a death occurs.

·         We can make arrangements by phone if that makes you more comfortable.

·         We have increased our public and workspace sanitation schedule and frequency to adhere to infection and prevention control guidelines outlined by the CDC & ADPH.

·         We are limiting the number of friends and family attending a service to 10 people.

·         Guests who are unable to attend services in-person may leave a message for a loved one via our online “Guestbook” which is available on our website: www.serenityfuneralhome.com/obituaries.  Search for your loved ones name, click the obituary and select “Guestbook.”

·         We are staggering funeral services times so services don’t overlap.

·         Beginning Tuesday, March 24, we will offer free live streaming services, if travel or other concerns prevent anyone from being able to attend services.

We appreciate the trust that you place in us.  We will continue to closely monitor the situation and take actions necessary to help keep our staff and our community safe while providing the services you need during this difficult time.