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Funeral homes adjust services as COVID cases climb

Video from WALB
Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 11:36 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As Southwest Georgia continues to see COVID-19 cases increase, funeral home owners are once again having to adjust their practices.

“Funerals are changing,” said Nathaniel Payne, owner of Martin Luther King Memorial Chapel.

Nathaniel Payne, owner of Martin Luther King Memorial Chapel
Nathaniel Payne, owner of Martin Luther King Memorial Chapel(WALB)

Payne knows this feeling all too well after his facility was at the forefront of a COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020.

With the new wave of infections, Payne said it will likely impact their services for years to come.

“The compassionate part of it has gone out, the funeral business will probably never be the same anymore,” Payne said.

Promise Land funeral home shared in that feeling. They have installed another drive-thru viewing window, allowing them to service more than one family at a time.

Howard Fields, former owner and employee at Promise Land funeral home
Howard Fields, former owner and employee at Promise Land funeral home(WALB)

“The body in the casket comes through here, through these doors here and of course it’s open and when the people come by, they can view their loved one without getting out of the vehicle,” explained Howard Fields, the former owner and employee at Promise Land.

Promis Land has also added a place for families and friends to sign the memorial book.

“There are some boxes outside that they can sign the registry as well and not have to come into the funeral home,” said Fields.

Payne said they are starting to see families opt for a different type of service.

“I see families beginning to cremate more, we’re doing a lot of that, probably three or four times a week,” said Payne.

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