VILONIA, Ark. – Governor Asa Hutchinson and Medical Director Dr. Nate Smith are warning people about attending funerals during the COVID-19 crisis.
Central Arkansas funeral homes are making adjustments so families can remember their loved one while also being safe.
For the last four years, Mike Matos has owned and operated Vilonia Funeral Home.
A few weeks ago, when the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Arkansas, Matos started making changes.
“We got a letter from the CDC and the National Funeral Home Association,” he explains.
He says he’s doing everything he can to keep a safe, but comfortable, environment for families making arrangements.
“We have taken up all the chairs. We put in 10 chairs and we keep those spaced out,” Matos continues.
He says families can also make plans online without stepping foot inside the building.
“We’re one of the only funeral homes around that offers online arrangements,” he adds.
Matos says the services can also be streamed on the internet too.
“So folks that aren’t able to attend can see the service. That can be live steamed on social media or a separate digital link can be given to the family to share privately,” he says.
For families who want to have more traditional services, he says they can move it outside.
“After hearing what the president said and what the governor has been saying, that’s why we got ahead of schedule,” says Matos.
He says they are all measures to keep the most vulnerable safe from to COVID-19.
“The way we are limiting and the social distancing and those kind of things. That’s changing across the board for everybody,” he says.