Arbor 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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Screening

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 20 people for funeral services (indoors and outdoors), with mandatory masking and 2 meter physical distancing.
            • Only outdoor 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: As of January 23,2021, the Winnipeg (except for Churchill), Southern Health–Santé Sud, Interlake–Eastern and Prairie Mountain Health regions: 
          • Funerals to have up to 10 people in addition to the officiant
          • In all other regions, all persons are prohibited from assembling in a gathering of more than five persons (excluding officiant and staff) at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. o multiple funerals or viewings for one deceased are allowed provided:
            • There is never more than 5 people gathered at any time
            • Gatherings do not intersect in any way or at any time (in the facility, the parking lot, etc). 
        • 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 June, 2021,per the Order of the Chief Medical Office of Health
          • Wedding ceremonies and funerals can have up to 5 people plus the person conducting the ceremony indoors and up to 10 people plus the person conducting the ceremony outdoors with social distancing. Receptions and visitation are not permitted.
        • Ontario: As of July 16, 2021.
          • Indoor funeral services
            • Indoor funeral services are permitted with physical distancing of two metres (six feet) between people.
            • No capacity limit, except for the physical distancing requirement. 
            • Masks or face coverings are required indoors.
            • Guests must sign in
            • All attendees and staff must adhere to local public health unit restrictions.
          • Outdoor funerals / Services at cemeteries
            • No capacity limit, except for the physical distancing requirement.
            • All attendees and staff must adhere to local public health unit restrictions.
          • Staffing ratios
            • There will no longer be a set staffing ratio.
            • Funeral establishments and cemeteries are responsible for ensuring physical distancing and the wearing of masks or face coverings indoors.
          • Food and beverages
            • Permissible food and beverage services are determined by your local public health unit.
          • Exception – Waterloo
          Waterloo Region moved into Step 2 of Ontario’s reopening framework on Monday. Check with the local public health unit about the status for Waterloo going forward. Waterloo will operate under the Registrar’s Directive relevant to Step 2 until its regional public health unit moves the jurisdiction into another step of the provincial framework.
        • 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.

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Interment

          • 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. To read more, please read the Mausoleums and Indoor Niches Safety Protocols at the top of this page.
          • 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:
            • 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 / internments
            • 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.

                  • In Ontario Grey Zone, there will be no witnessing at the Crematorium at this time.

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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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