South Carolina families mourn from a distance amid coronavirus outbreak

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Funerals are seeing big changes amid the coronavirus outbreak.

COVID-19, stay-at-home orders and social-distancing rules are dramatically altering the way families and communities mourn the passing of loved ones.

Many funeral homes have instituted rules that no more than nine people can attend services. Chairs at chapels are separated. There are no lines of mourners to hug widows or stand at coffins and pay last respects.

“It’s hard enough to lose a loved one, but then to have the traditions that usually bring comfort at a time like this seemingly not available, just kind of compounds the grief that families feel,” Justin Baxley of Thompson Funeral Homes in Lexington said.

Funeral homes make plans with families via video chat instead of face-to-face, and ask grieving families who attend services not to shake hands. Some funeral homes are offering livestreaming or other recordings to share with loved ones who can’t be there.

WSAV has the latest on the coronavirus outbreak here.

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