Revised Gathering Restrictions

Rhody Family Funeral Home

On Saturday, June 13, 2020 the Government of Ontario revised their gathering restrictions for funeral services. Two days later, June 15, 2020, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO), which oversees all funeral service providers and cemeteries in the province, added additional rules and recommendations to support the government's implementation of larger gathering numbers.

 

Although a step in the right direction, there are still many things to be considered when arranging a funeral gathering. Below I will try to provide further clarity, to show you what current funeral gatherings can look like.

 

It is important to note that Max-10 (BAO) Registrar's Directive of April 7, 2020 REMAINS IN PLACE, with the new '30% indoor / 50 attendees outdoor' allowance being exemptions if - AND ONLY IF - ALL the conditions of the June 15, 2020 Registrar's Directives are met. So if you follow all the rules below, you can gather in numbers of up to 50, however, if any of the guidelines are not met, the gathering number for funerals remains at 10.

 

INDOOR OR OUTDOOR FUNERALS & VISITATIONS

• For indoor or outdoor funeral and visitation gatherings, the funeral director (FD) is responsible for all family and visitors, and their adherence to all current measures in government laws/restrictions and BAO Registrar’s Directives, Notices and Guidance, including those which occur in a place of worship. If a funeral director is not present, then the responsibility of this event falls to the cemetery or property owner, to make sure all guidelines are followed.

 

• All persons attending the gathering must remain at least two metres (six feet) apart from each other and from persons conducting the funeral unless they are members of the same household. The keyword here is household. If you don't live under the same roof, then you come from a different household. 

 

• For every 10 people, there should be at least one funeral home staff member to monitor and ensure physical distancing of two metres. 

 

• Funeral service providers must continue to log all family and visitors to each funeral and visitation for contact tracing purposes, in the event, this becomes needed. 

 

• Hand sanitizer must be provided for visitors throughout funeral home facilities. 

 

• The persons conducting the funeral or visitation (under the responsibility of the FD) must ensure that the number of persons occupying any room in the building or structure while maintaining physical distancing, does not exceed 30% of the capacity of that particular room. Therefore, each funeral home must calculate how many people can actually be accommodated, while complying with the two-metre physical distancing rule. This will likely be much less than a venue’s posted occupancy capacity. The number of people permitted includes clergy, officiants, and musicians, but does not include funeral home staff. 

 

Examples - A room of 200 square metres (2,150 square feet) has an Ontario Building Code capacity of 190 people. However, 30% capacity and physical distancing will reduce the total number permitted to 36 people. Similarly, a 25 x 25 square foot room has a normal capacity of 60 people, but the 30% rule and physical distancing will shrink that number to 10 people. 

 

Our gathering areas at Rhody Family Funeral Home amount to approximately 1443 sq feet. Therefore, currently for visitations, we will allow gatherings of 20 people at one time, and for funerals, we will accommodate gatherings of up to 40 people. These individuals will be spread out throughout our entire facility, following social distancing guidelines, and will be able to view and hear all services with the assistance of our audiovisual equipment.

 

Wearing of masks, or face coverings, by everyone, is mandatory. This includes all staff and attendees (Paper disposable masks are sufficient. N95 masks are not necessary. People may wear their own masks or face coverings). 

 

• The persons conducting the funeral must ensure that it is conducted in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting. 

 

• The persons conducting the funeral must ensure that all spaces including washrooms that have been made available to persons attending the gathering are cleaned and disinfected on a continuous basis by staff dedicated to this purpose. 

 

• The persons conducting the funeral must ensure that in the case of multiple visitation periods, attendees must wait in their cars until permitted access to the visitation. There must not be a gathering of people congregating outside of their vehicles waiting for their turn. 

 

OUTDOOR FUNERALS & VISITATIONS 

 

• The persons conducting the funeral and visitation must ensure that no more than 50 people are in attendance (The FD is responsible for ensuring this.) The number of people permitted includes clergy, officiants, and musicians, but does not include funeral home staff. 

 

• All persons attending the funeral or visitation must remain at least two metres apart from each other, and from persons conducting the funeral or visitation unless they are members of the same household. 

 

• The persons conducting the funeral or visitation must ensure that it is conducted in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting. 

 

• The persons conducting the funeral or visitation must ensure that any washrooms that have been made available to persons attending the gathering are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary environment. 

 

CEMETERIES

 

At a cemetery, for every 10 people, there must be one funeral home staff member present to monitor physical distancing (FD is responsible). 

 

Cemetery operators may choose to restrict graveside services to family only, with physical distancing in place. This will continue to be supported by the BAO.

 

Cemetery operators may continue to further restrict attendance, in addition to restrictions already in place by the government and the BAO, including those in this Attendance Guidance. FDs should communicate these restrictions to the families in advance of the service. 

 

OVERVIEW 

 

The BAO has put these additional guidelines in place to protect you and your family as well as our funeral home staff. We all want funeral services to go back to the way they were conducted pre-COVID-19. However, these revisions are now allowing families more options. As you can understand, each family's desires and requests are very unique and we will work with you to provide you with the best options and solutions given the current guidelines. These restrictions affect every funeral service provider very differently, as each facility and the current options within a community are very unique. Some churches and venues are open, whereas others remain closed. Therefore, I encourage everyone who must arrange a funeral during these trying times to educate themselves on their options, ask questions and realize that we are all working together to celebrate the lives of those we love, given these trying times.

As always, I am just a call, email, or text away should you have additional questions or concerns.

Respectfully,

Nathan Rhody

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Our Testimonials

Well Nathan…due to COVID and everything going on, you did an excellent job and you went above and beyond our expectation. COVID changed a lot of things, but in the end we were very satisfied. Thank you! 

Mary Kaufman

I can think of nothing you could have done to better improve our experience. My grandchildren & I all felt relaxed and so appreciated your quiet, excellent care of our family. You provided dignity & caring – so much appreciated. I somehow knew we were in good hands.

Joan Saunders

We were very pleased with everything. So much positive feedback was received! We felt so very supported and cared for throughout!! We would recommend your funeral home in a heartbeat. We were so happy to travel from Barrie to Chesley to have you take care of our John. Thank you all so much!

Margaret Ellis & Family

Because of COVID-19 we had to do the complete service from home via D.V.D. GREAT!

William Hall

I was amazed that I could smell KFC fries when I first walked in at the visitation. That was so lovely. My husband would have loved it. Thank you again for that! 

Sheila Jacobs

[I] have already told many people what an amazing job you did. My entire family and friends couldn’t agree more! Everything was totally looked after. Things I never would have thought of were either done or brought to my attention. Thank you so much for everything you did. It made a really rough time a little easier to handle. Thank you!

Dianne Veen

“One of a kind” service as well as ongoing support! Beyond [our expectations] and Thank You.

Carol Vallie

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.

Katie

Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

“We had no concerns- worries, nothing, but confidence in the staff – we knew exactly how everything would happen and when - it was so nice not to have to concern ourselves with anything.”

Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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