Covid-19 Updates

Covid-19 Industry Updates

Funeral, Cemetery and Crematory professionals are here to support families and communities, whether it’s a death due to COVID-19 or some other cause. Funeral directors and cemetery professionals will work with families to help them commemorate the life of their loved one in a way that is meaningful but follows current federal, state and local guidance regarding public safety – particularly respecting guidance for large gatherings. These are challenging times for all of us.


While this situation is fluid and things seem to change from minute-to-minute, the one thing families and communities can count on is that funeral homes and cemeteries will be there to support families and help them understand their options during this difficult time.

AFCCA’s Role

  • Our association has relationships with the Arizona Board for Funeral Directors & Embalmers, State and County Health Departments, the National Funeral Directors Associations, and other State Associations in order to provide resources to our members and funeral homes in the state as we prepare for a possible surge.
  • Our organization is not responsible for tracking pandemic-related statistics. County and state health departments are tracking this information and can best answer any questions.
  • The association first and foremost will advocate for our funeral professionals and the families we serve. We are here to ensure our members voices are heard and that families are cared for ethically and compassionately.
  • We communicate information to consumers and the funeral industry as it is made available.
  • In making these preparations, our goal is to help ensure every family is able to lay their loved one to rest in a respectful and dignified manner.
  • AFCCA will continue to participate in conversations with state and county officials about the role of funeral service as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent News and Updates

Turning to Tradition: More than a Quarter of Americans Embrace Religion in Post-COVID Funeral Planning

NFDA 2021 Cremation and Burial Report Shows Increase In Number Of Americans Who View Religion As A Crucial Component In A Funeral, Despite Continued Rise In Cremation Rates Brookfield, Wis. – The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to increase the average number of deaths in the United States by 494,000 in 2020 and 445,000 in 2021, according to the 2021 Cremation and Burial Report, released by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). While social gatherings – …

Read more

April 19, 2021 – Governor Executive Order

Earlier today Governor Ducey issued EO 2021-09 which bans “vaccine passports” and prevents state and local governments from requiring Arizonans to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status to receive service or enter an area. Under the EO, state agencies, counties, cities, and towns cannot issue a measure that requires an individual to provide documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination status in order to enter a business, building or area or to receive a government service, permit or license. Private …

Read more

FEMA Funeral Assistance Flyer

A message from FEMA… The FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is now open to eligible applicants across the entire U.S., its territories and the District of Columbia. As a result, we are experiencing a high volume of calls to the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline. Applicants calling may receive a busy signal or longer-than-normal wait times. There is no deadline to apply for FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. Applicants’ patience would be appreciated as we are giving …

Read more

FEMA Financial Assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.   Click on the link below to find out who is eligible and how to apply.   Feel free to share this information with the families you serve.

March 25 Governor’s Executive Order: New COVID Mitigation Phase

From the Governor’s Office In regards to the latest Governor’s Executive Order (which can be found  HERE) which announces several updates to the state’s COVID-19 measures. You can find a news release  HERE The state has seen: 10 weeks of declining cases Hospitalizations at the lowest levels since October 2020 Opening of vaccine appointments to all Arizonans of all age groups Mass distribution of the vaccine Under the changes announced this morning: Events with 50 …

Read more

FEMA Issues Final Policy for COVID Funeral Reimbursement

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Congress authorized FEMA to provide financial assistance to individuals who incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses after January 20, 2020. Today, FEMA has issued its final policy – which includes details such as eligibility and documentation criteria and the application process – for how funds will be distributed to families. Most notably, FEMA shared that the maximum financial …

Read more

NFDA Special Bulletin Update: FEMA Funeral Reimbursement for COVID-related Deaths

There has been quite a lot of media attention and speculation in the last few weeks about the FEMA reimbursement for funeral expenses for deaths due to COVID-19. Please note: much of what is being reported is conjecture and FEMA has not yet issued a policy outlining how and to whom funds will be made available. Since March 2020, NFDA has been working on funeral assistance for families that experience the death of a loved …

Read more

Covid-19 Vaccine Updates

Updates as of 3/3/2021  SPECIAL UPDATE: AZ just announced that it will do away with numbered phases and switch to a hybrid age-based distribution model. Currently they are still in 65+. When they hit 55% vaccination in that age group, they move to 55+. It’s important to let your friends & family know to schedule their appointment when their age group pops up so we can quickly move to next vaccine stage. The state will …

Read more

Can You Afford a 37% Tax Increase? We need your voice!

NFDA needs your voice to avoid a “surprise” tax on small businesses that took advantage of COVID-19 loans from the federal government! As many of you know, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans made possible through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act earlier this year were a lifeline for many small businesses, including funeral homes. The concept of the PPP loans was simple: if a qualifying small business used a federally-guaranteed loan …

Read more

NFDA Covid-19 Survey Results and Model Law

The following content is accessible for members only, please sign in. Loading…

Technology Resources for PreNeed Sales

Resources Provided by Dave Petermeier, Coldspring ( Here are some resources that may be helpful to you when creating online meetings and ramping up your virtual pre-need sales. Continue Meeting your family needs with technology Meeting with families and assisting them to memorialize a loved one is an important aspect of their journey.  In these times of great change, this is more challenging now than ever before.  By utilizing free web-based tools, you can still …

Read more

Messenger Becomes Distributor for Multi Surface Sanitizer and PPE

AUBURN, IN – Messenger, a leading provider in stationery, funeral service and personalization solutions, continues to put focus on sourcing personal protective equipment and supplies to help funeral professionals, the families they serve and funeral guests stay safe during today’s pandemic. Messenger is now a distributor for fine mist spraying devices and hypochlorous (HOCl) solution. Hypochlorous is an N-listed ingredient effective against Sars-Cov-2 and in sanitizing hard surfaces. The solution contains no harsh chemicals, will …

Read more

Covid-19 Updates Archive

July 31, 2020 Family Service Counselors have been seeing a rise in Preneed requests. Here are some resources that may help you when meeting with families virtually. Technology Resources for PreNeed Sales July 23, 2020 Updates Continuation of Executive Order 2020-43 Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 Major points from today’s press conference with Governor Ducey.  The Governor also announced the extension of an Executive Order pausing operations on gyms, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, water parks, and tubing. …

Read more

AFCCA Recommended Best Practices and Guidelines

AFCCA has taken best practices and ideas from other states and what many of our own Funeral Homes in Arizona are implementing. Without a direct mandate from the state pertaining to Funeral and Cemetery Services, it is up to each establishment to create their own protocol when dealing with Covid-19. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what should be done in order to keep yourselves, your employees and your families safe. Please feel free to use and share any of the information in the documents below.

Review the CDC guidance for funerals. 

Current CDC Considerations for Events and Gatherings

AZ Funeral Board – COVID 19 Industry Update 4-2-20

Covid-19 Best Practices for Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and Crematories

COVID-19_Embalming Best Practices

Dignity Memorial/SCI Phoenix shared with us their cleaning protocols they have implemented:

Maintenance Dept COVID Protocol (3-23-20)

Office and Common Areas COVID Protocol (3-23-20)

What do you do if you have COVID-19 symptoms?

It is more important than ever to make sure that your funeral home staff takes care and stays healthy. If you are feeling symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms, here is a list of resources to make sure you are taken care of:

Primary Care Physicians – For those who have a primary care physician, they should first call them and explain their symptoms.

Urgent Care Clinics – Be sure to call the clinic before a walk-in appointment and speak to them about symptoms.

Hotlines – People can call the 211 hotline or the Dept. of Health Services at 1-844-542-8201. Both options allow you to speak to a specialist.  

Banner Health – People can call Banner Health’s Hotline at 1-844-549-1851. A clinical team member can talk to them to determine if testing is appropriate. The hotline is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. If testing is needed, the person will be scheduled to visit a Banner drive-thru site.

Mayo Clinic – Patients of the Mayo Clinic of Arizona can call their Mayo doctor and explain their symptoms. If their Mayo doctor writes them an order for testing, they can get tested at a Mayo drive-thru clinic.

Maready Medical in Mesa – Maready Medical, located near Power and  Warner roads in Mesa, is offering drive-up testing for patients with a doctor’s order. Patients can make a virtual appointment here.

Family Tree Healthcare Clinic in Phoenix– Located at 7002 S. Central Avenue is offering free COVID-19 testing Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Click here to make an appointment.

Coconino County – Residents can call this hotline at 928-679-7300 for information on COVID-19. It operates from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 to 4 on Saturdays.