Arbor Update on COVID-19
- We remain available to serve our families
- Mausoleums and Indoor Niches Saftey Protocols
- Updated Health and Safety Protocols
- Safe distance protocols
- For all funeral, cremation and interment services
- Cremation Witnessing
- Employee Safety
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.
Mausoleums and Indoor Niches Safety Protocols
As of Monday, November 23, 2020, mausoleums and interior niche buildings are closed for casual visitation, in Ontario grey zones (GTA and Peel). Please contact the cemetery administration office for more information.
All other mausoleum and interior niche buildings outside the Covid Grey Zone will remain open for casual visitation at this time.
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
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.
All visitors to our locations (with the exception of cemetery grounds) will be asked:
- Have you or any member of your immediate family been in contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19?
- Are you or any member of your immediate family in self-isolation?
- Has Public Health been involved?
- Do you have any of these symptoms:
- 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.
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 10 people for funeral services (indoors and outdoors).
- No receptions allowed at this time.
- British Columbia: No more than 10 people (including officiant) provided that physical distancing of 2 metres can be maintained and COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
- No cycling of guests.
- No funeral receptions inside or outside your home, or at any public or community-based venue.
- The organizer must:
- Collect the first and last names and telephone number, or email address, of every patron who attends an event or of every driver of a vehicle present at a drive-in event; and
- Retain this information for thirty days, in case there is a need for contact tracing on the part of the medical health officer, in which case the information must be provided to the medical health officer.
- Manitoba: Except as otherwise permitted by these Orders, all persons are prohibited from assembling in a gathering of more than five persons at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. For certainty, this provision applies to ceremonies such as weddings and funerals.
- New Brunswick: Keep uncontrolled indoor or outdoor gatherings with physical distancing at 50 people or fewer.
Occupancy limits in controlled indoor and outdoor settings should remain at a level which allow for physical distancing. Record keeping for participants is required to facilitate contact tracing.
Community face masks must be worn in public spaces (including retail businesses, malls, service centres, public transport, etc.) and at unofficial indoor gatherings in New Brunswick. However, community face masks are not a substitute for physical distancing.
- Nova Scotia - As of November 23, 2020 in regions except Halifax and Hants:
- Indoor gathering limit with social distancing for social events, spectators of sports and performing arts, organized physical activity, faith gatherings, weddings, funerals, arts and culture events, festivals and special events that are run by a recognized business or organization - 50% of the venue’s capacity up to a maximum of 200
- Outdoor gathering limit with social distancing for social events, spectators of sports and performing arts, organized physical activity, faith gatherings, weddings, funerals, arts and culture events, festivals and special events that are run by a recognized business or organization - 250 people maximum outdoors
As of November 26, 2020, in Halifax and Hants regions: The number of people that can attend a funeral indoor or outdoor is 5 plus officiants
- Ontario: The BAO has created a simple colour-code system of regional pandemic restrictions for funeral homes and cemeteries, aligned with the Government of Ontario’s move to a regional framework. This chart, shows which measures are required for funeral establishments and cemeteries in each colour-coded category. The colour category that the province or public health unit has placed your community in tells you which restrictions apply to your establishment.
- 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
- Effective Monday, Oct. 19, this Registrar’s Directive prohibits the serving of food or beverages indoors at all funeral services in parts of Ontario that have moved to a modified Stage 2 (Toronto, Peel, Ottawa and York health unit areas) as part of COVID-19 safety measures.
- Graveside dispositions will be restricted to 10 people both indoors and outdoors, in the Grey zone.
- Quebec: Red Zone Gathering Prohibited, except for places of worship and funerals (maximum of 25 people and an attendance register must be kept). 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.
- Mausoleums and indoor niches are now open to visitation (except where prohibited by public health), with safety protocols in place including wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing. In Ontario, mausoleum visitors are restricted to 30% capacity per floor.
- As of Monday, November 23, 2020, mausoleums and interior niche buildings are closed, except by appointment, in Ontario grey zones (GTA and Peel).
- 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.
- Graveside dispositions will be restricted to 10 people both indoors and outdoors, in the Grey Zone
- Witnessing of dispositions in the Grey Area must be viewed from behind a defined barrier
- 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.
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.
- In Ontario Grey Zone, there will be no witnessing at the Crematorium at this time.
- 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.