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Western Kentucky Funerals Adapt To Smaller Services, Virtual Services

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Funeral homes in western Kentucky are having to quickly adapt in response to the new Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky’s guidelines for the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Kentucky funeral homes will allow only a maximum of ten people to attend the service, as recommended earlier this week by Governor Beshear. 

The FDAK is asking visitations, services, and burials to be private with no times and dates published. Obituaries may still be published with the consent of the family.

Frank Giles is owner and funeral director at Hughart, Beard, and Giles funeral home in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He said the recently applied restrictions have been difficult for some families to accept while planning services. 

“You take a situation where somebody's grieving, and then all of a sudden you tell, ‘You can't do this. You can't do this. You can't do this,’” Giles said. “Like, for instance, one of the families, we just did everything one way when their mother died six months agos. Now, their father died. They can't do any of it the same, that's hard for them to understand.”

Giles said if more than ten family members come to the visitation, they can be sectioned off into different rooms of the Funeral and brought in to pay their respects in small groups. 

“They can also be put in different rooms. We can shuffle the folks around, and make it work,” he said. 

Hughart, Beard, and Giles Funeral Home, King’s Funeral Home in Cadiz, Kentucky, and Filbeck-Cann Funeral Home in Benton, Kentucky, are all offering online visitation book signings and public memorial services when the gathering ban is lifted.

Filbeck-Cann Funeral home will be live streaming services, and is offering a virtual hug program called “Hugs from Home”. 

This program allows those not attending the service the chance to share support. The messages will be handwritten and attached to a white balloon. Balloons will fill the chapel representing hugs for the families.

Hannah is a Murray State Journalism major. She found her place in radio during her second year in Murray. She is from Herndon, KY, a small farming community on the Kentucky/Tennessee stateline.
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