COVID-19 is affecting a lot of local businesses all over the country. A major industry having to adjust to the outbreak is funeral homes.

Heath Meadows has been a funeral director at Meadows Funeral Home since 2000 and the virus outbreak has had a negative impact on the industry.

“COVID-19 has affected the industry a lot. It has been completely heartwrenching, but we are doing everything we can over the phone, social media and email. … I am reaching out to families and giving them my cellphone number so they can reach me at all times,” Meadows said.

With the limitation of fewer than 10 people in a party, these businesses are having to adjust, whether by changing the date of the funeral to later in the year or limiting the size of visitors to the funeral.

“We are allowing 10 people at a visitation and allowing 10 or less people at the burial,” a Tim Stewart Funeral Home representative said.

Most parties are changing the date to later in the year to allow more people to attend the funeral of loved ones. On the other hand, some families are choosing to follow through with the funeral in unique ways.

“A lot of families are going through with the funeral and are sharing services over Facebook Live. … They are trying to get people involved where they can,” Meadows said.

Meadows said human contact is necessary in a time like this, but, due to federal guidelines, it is hard to give people that comfort.


University of Georgia student Grace Townsend is a correspondent for The Walton Tribune. She is a 2018 graduate of North Oconee High School.

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