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COVID-19’s impact on hospital visits/funerals


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Funeral homes and hospitals are working to allow families wanting to say goodbye to their loved ones while also following restrictions put in place due to COVID-19.

Steve Edwards, CoxHealth president and CEO, says one risk is a patient being on a ventilator.

“In a case like that, we’ve been able to use iPads and things like that for the family to connect with,” Edwards said. “So we want to make sure the family is safe and know the patients are safe.”

If a family member doesn’t get to say goodbye, their next chance is at the funeral home.

“Some services are being delayed,” said Ruth Ann Wood-Humiston, with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home. “Some services, like a visitation, instead of the family being at a formal visitation, we’ve opened it up to almost a full day of informal visitation.”

In a time like this, some people aren’t able to attend these services.

“We’re able to live stream it on YouTube. And then we can also do live stream on our Facebook page,” said Wood-Humiston. “We can record it and upload it, or even make copies for families.”

Wood-Humiston says she checks in with families over the phone.

“It’s being there to listen to them,” Wood-Humiston said. “We encourage people to follow up. Because at this time that somebody’s grieving in two or three days and the services are done, that’s not the end our journey to heal.”

Since the spread of COVID-19 hit Greene County, Walnut Lawn has done one live-streamed service.

Families have the option of making their service public or private.

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