Arbor Update on COVID-19

Our commitment to you

Arbor Update on COVID-19

We remain available to serve our families

Given the current situation with COVID-19, we want to reassure you that we have a number of ways to communicate, share information and provide complete services to you.

Our offices are also open daily with professional staff available to serve you.

Should you find it more convenient or preferable to reach us via phone, email, text messaging, online through our website, or by FaceTime, Skype or Zoom meeting, all of these channels are available at all our locations.

Our first concern is to be responsive to the needs of our community. If you have experienced the loss of a loved one or are completing pre-arrangements for your family, our staff can be contacted and a full range of services can be provided in the convenience of your home or any location with phone or internet access.

Please contact us at any time and we will be there to serve your needs.

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Mausoleums and Indoor Niches Safety Protocols

Everyone entering the interior Mausoleum or Indoor Niche Columbarium buildings are required to provide, and wear a mask during their visit.  While visiting the building all occupants are required to monitor social distancing and maintain at least 2 meters or 6 feet distance from all other visitors, outside their own family unit or social distancing bubble. The maximum number of visitors is restricted to 30% of the capacity of each floor. Elevator use is restricted to single visitors or families who live together.
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Updated Health and Safety Protocols

We have implemented a number of measures to help protect the health and safety of our staff and guests. We ask for your understanding as we navigate these challenging times together. 

  • Our locations are being continually cleaned and sanitized between appointments and events
  • Our staff are equipped with necessary safety equipment including masks and gloves

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Safe distance protocols

Beginning immediately, our employees will not engage in physical contact such as handshakes and hugs with one another or members of the public. Whenever possible, they will observe a 6-foot distance. Our staff will also be wearing gloves, and in some cases masks.

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All visitors to our locations (with the exception of cemetery grounds) will be asked:

  1. Have you or any member of your immediate family been in contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19?
  2. Are you or any member of your immediate family in self-isolation?
  3. Has Public Health been involved?
  4. Do you have any of these symptoms:
    • Fever
    • New onset of cough
    • Chills or shivers
    • Shortness of breath

If a guest answers YES they will be asked to return home. All funeral or cemetery arrangements can be made remotely.

We may request to take the temperature of guests before entering the building. We will also ask that you wash your hands immediately upon entering the building.

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For all funeral, cremation and interment services

  • Any person who is under quarantine is not permitted to attend services.
  • Funerals and visitation guest gatherings will be subject to provincial mass gathering limits. Please note that all limits are subject to proper physical distancing of 2 metres or 6 feet being maintained.
    • Alberta: No more than 100 people (indoors and outdoors, and no more than 50 people for the reception indoors or 100 people outdoors.)
    • British Columbia: No more than 50 people provided that physical distancing of 2 metres can be maintained. The number is otherwise based on the allowable space.
    • Manitoba: As of Monday, Sept. 28, masks will be mandatory in all indoor public places in these communities. Gatherings will also be restricted to 10 people, both indoors and outdoors. These restrictions will remain in place for a minimum of four weeks (two incubation periods of the virus). Further direction or additional restrictions may be put in place by public health at any time. 
    • New Brunswick: 50 people or fewer for all indoor gatherings.
    • Nova Scotia: 10 people or fewer for all indoor gatherings and15 people or fewer for all outdoor gatherings.
    • Ontario: Until further notice, all cemeteries in Ontario must limit attendance to a maximum of 25 people (not counting staff) at all gatherings, attendances, funerals, visitations, funeral receptions, and graveside services, subject to the following exception.
      Outdoor funeral services (visitations, receptions and graveside services) up to a maximum of 100 attendees may still take place at a cemetery or funeral home’s property, providing:  
      a. The service is under the control and direction of a funeral director  
      b. The service (at the cemetery) has the consent of the cemetery operator for numbers over 25
      c. Funeral directors have one staff member for every 10 attendees to properly manage the gathering and ensure physical distancing is maintained
      d. Guests are registered/logged to enable contact tracing
    • Quebec: Gatherings will be capped at a maximum of 50 people across the entire province and at 25 people in orange zones. Please contact your preferred location and one of our staff can provide you with more information about visitation in our various rooms and chapels.
    • Saskatchewan: The allowable occupancy is one-third of the defined occupancy rate of the facility to a maximum of 30 individuals.
  • This number may be lower depending on the capacity of the funeral home chapel.
  • We will encourage social distancing in chapel seating.
  • We will attempt, whenever possible, to offer a private family service with streamed service for extended family and friends.
  • We ask that you avoid expressions of sympathy like handshaking, hugging and other direct physical contact with your guests.
  • We encourage families to include a message in their obituaries and notices that anybody who is unwell not attend, and to limit physical contact if they do.

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  • Mausoleums and indoor niches are now open to visitation, with safety protocols in place including wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing. In Ontario, mausoleum visitors are restricted to 30% capacity per floor.
  • Our cemeteries remain open to families wishing to visit a loved one’s burial lot.
  • Witnessing will be subject to the provincial requirements for gathering sizes and distancing measures.
  • Ontario:
    • Outdoor Interments
    • Maximum 25 attendees (excluding staff) unless it's a formal gathering that is monitored.  Monitored means 1 FD for every 10 people.
    • If monitored, it can be up to 100 attendees subject to the conditions in the directive.
    • Indoor entombments / inurnments
    • Same as an indoor funeral service – 30% capacity; 1 FD for every 10 people.  

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Cremation Witnessing

Witnessing is not appropriate for all people and those choosing to witness must reserve the crematorium well in advance to avoid conflicts in scheduling and service. The crematorium operator is the person with final authority in the crematorium during a witness service. The operator may limit the number of family/friends to 2 mourners. Since the crematorium can be a hazardous place, the operator must instruct the funeral director and the mourners as to acceptable procedures. Please call ahead for more information about your specific location.

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Employee Safety

  • Our priority is to protect the health and safety of our Arbor employees, while continuing to offer essential services at all of our locations.
  • Staff have been provided with PPE including gloves and masks. They are required to follow physical distancing measures from each other and our guests.
  • Many have been provided the option of working remotely when/where possible.
  • Our staff have the ability to connect with each other and guests via remote conferencing, and hold appointments online, over the phone and scan contracts electronically.

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