UNDATED -- Family members who have a loved one die right now are being forced to make funeral arrangements that look a lot different than what they might expect or want.

In keeping with recommended guidelines of social distancing from the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health, it is impossible to hold a large visitation or public memorial service.

Brian Dingmann owns Dingmann Funeral Care and is on the Board of the Minnesota Funeral Director's Association. He says they're doing their best to help families grieve.

We know the importance of ceremony, and we know the importance of having that ceremony in a relatively short time after death.  Death isn't convenient.  Death isn't easy.  So we need to be able to find ways to have that ceremony to meet the needs right away.  So really what we're looking at later would be a more informal visitation, or celebration of life, or gathering.

Dingmann says they are offering streaming services for their funerals right now with just the immediate family attending in person. He says he's expecting a big backlog of the more public memorials later this year when it is safer to do so.

Dingmann says, if more businesses are ordered shut in the coming days, he believes funeral homes will fall under the category of essential services.  He says back in 2008 during the H1N1 virus the Department of Homeland Security placed funeral homes in the Tier II level, which meant they would need to continue to go to work.

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