COVID-19: Funeral and Mortuary Science Guidance

minnesota department of health

COVID-19: Funeral and Mortuary Science Guidance

Essential Providers

  • Workers performing mortuary services, including funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemetery
    workers; including workers who coordinate with other organizations to ensure the proper
    recovery, handling, identification, transportation, tracking, storage and disposal of human remains
    are essential workers during COVID-19 response, pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-
    20; and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the CISA Guidance on the Essential Critical
    Infrastructure Workforce.

  • Funeral homes, crematories, and morticians are essential providers and authorized to perform
    within their scope of duty to take charge and remove deceased persons from the place of death,
    prepare a deceased person for final disposition in any manner, and make arrangements, provided
    that such arrangements comply with the Emergency Executive Order 20-2020, the March 19, 2020 Funeral and Mortuary Science Guidance; and the MDH Guidance on social distancing.

Emergency Executive Order 20-20, Directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home

  • Beginning Friday, March 27, 2020 at 11:59 pm through Friday, April 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm, all
    persons currently living in the State of Minnesota are ordered to stay at home in their current
    place of residence.

  • Because individuals are not permitted to leave home for public gatherings such as funeral services,
    memorial services, visitations, and gravesite services, such gatherings should be postponed for the
    duration of the Executive Order 20-20.

  • Funeral homes are asked to postpone these services, or provide other means for families and
    communities to process such services through electronic technology.

  • Funeral homes are authorized to meet with families to make arrangements for final disposition,
    but should do so by telephone or remotely when possible. If funeral homes must meet with
    families, they should do so provided they practice social distancing consistent with the
    Department of Health and CDC guidance.

  • Private viewing for the purpose of identifying the decedent by the person or persons with the
    right to control final disposition as described in Minnesota Statutes, section 149A.80, is acceptable
    provided that the viewing is consistent with the Department of Health and CDC guidance on social

  • Electronic or digital signatures are acceptable as long as they follow the guidelines in Minnesota
    Statutes, chapter 325L.

COVID-19 Funeral and Mortuary Science Guidance

  • The COVID-19 Funeral Guidance issued on March 19, 2020 is effective until Friday, March 27, at
    11:59 pm. The COVID-19 Guidance for Infection Control remains in place during the duration of
    the COVID-19 response.

  • Funeral services, visitation services, memorial services, graveside services, or other arrangements planned through March 27, 2020 may be held, as long as the services are held in accordance with the Funeral and Mortuary Science Guidance.

Ultimately, funeral homes and providers must comply with these guidelines in order to reduce the
spread of the coronavirus, while meeting the needs of grieving families.