COVID-19 pandemic forcing Indiana funeral homes to enforce restrictions to keep everyone safe

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Sadly people are dying as a result of the coronavirus.

In Indiana, more than 100 people have lost their life, due to the virus. They’re bodies are being taken to funeral homes and these places have to change the way they operate.

“There are no proper goodbyes,” Sprowl Funeral Home Director Ursula Washington said.

Washington has been forced to change the way the facility operates.

“The virus does live about 5 or 9 days after the person passes away,” Washington said.

They have cut down on the number of family members allowed in the chapel at once.

“Our chapel seats 120 people comfortably, but there’s only 10 chairs in there now and they are all spread out,” Washington said.

They’re also asking them not to touch their deceased loved ones if they had the virus. They’re also disinfecting the body with special chemicals.

Sprowl Funeral Home opened their doors up to our cameras because they feel like people aren’t really understanding how serious this pandemic is.

“We’re not doing well at all and I feel like the only way people are really going to understand is when it hits close to home. When it’s someone they love and care about,” Washington explained.

Washington must wear protective equipment anytime she’s dealing with a COIVD-19 patient. If she doesn’t she could infect herself and her own family,” Washington said.

Comforting the deceased’s loved one has changed too. There’s no hugging or touching; which is hard for Chaplin Alice Hobbs.

“To reassure them without embracing them; we make eye contact,” Hobbs said.

She does her best to provide the family comfort.

“God loves you and he loves your loved one. There was nothing you did wrong that casused your loved one to end up with that virus,” Hobbs said.

Washington hopes Hoosiers realize the virus is real and it’s killing people.

She wants people to stay home, wear a mask, or do whatever you can to avoid falling ill or giving it to someone else.

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