MPG COVID-19 Protocols

Updated March 29, 2020

 

MPG RESPONSE to COVID-19

As the growing global concern around COVID-19 becomes an increasing reality in Canada, MPG is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our staff, the families we serve and their guests who participate in the services we conduct.

The current situation is extremely fluid and circumstances dictate that we must all adjust our daily routines and behaviours in order to slow the transmission of this virus to the best of our abilities.  With your understanding, please be aware that we have implemented the following procedures:

 

Essential Services

During this period, we will focus on providing essential services, which means our top priority will be to those families who have experienced a death.

We encourage individuals to defer non-essential services to a later date.

 

Access to Facilities

Entrance to the Administrative Offices will be by appointment only. The doors will be locked at all times. For essential needs, please call the office number for assistance (see Contact Us).

Access to our Funeral Centre facilities, cremation centres, mausolea and cremation niche buildings will only be available during essential service events.

 

Large Gatherings

As of midnight March 28 2020, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario mandated that funeral establishment gatherings are to be restricted to 10 individuals, excluding funeral and cemetery staff, for all services conducted indoors or outdoors. Due to room size limitations at some locations, maintaining the required two metre (six feet) distance between people will require the maximum number permitted may be less than 10 individuals:

  • Face-to-face arrangement meetings are restricted to essential services and a maximum of 3 individuals plus funeral staff
  • Funeral chapel and visitation services at all MPG and CMS locations  – maximum 10 people
  • Prospect and Beechwood mausolea: outdoor and indoor services (maximum 10 people)
  • Elgin Mills and Pine Hills mausolea: outdoor services (maximum 10 people); indoor services (maximum 5 people)
  • Niche Buildings - outdoor services (maximum 10 people); indoor services (maximum 5 people)
  • Cremation Witnessing facilities - maximum 10 people.

 

Safe Distance Protocol

We have implemented a Safe Distance Protocol for employees and the public. This means there will be no direct physical contact such as handshakes and hugs and staff will maintain a 2 metre (six feet) distance at all times.

 

Screening

All visitors to our facilities will be screened as follows:

  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 visitors answer YES to any of the above we will be asking them to return home.  If the purpose of their visit was to make funeral or cemetery arrangements, they will be instructed to call us and we will conduct the meeting remotely by phone.

 

For All Funeral, Cremation and Interment Services

  • Any individual who is under quarantine will not be permitted to attend services
  • In the interest of all attendees’ health, expressions of sympathy such as handshaking, hugging and other direct contact should be avoided.

 

Additional precautions specific to:

A.      Funeral Services – Visitations/Services/Receptions/Ritual Washing and Dressing Services

    • Visitation and funeral services held in a MPG facility will be limited to 2 hours per family
    • We are suspending reception services
    • Ritual washing and dressing services in the presence of anyone other than our employees is suspended
    • Families will be encouraged to hold the visitation, funeral service, cremation witnessing (where applicable) and the burial/entombment on the same day, wherever possible
    • To ensure social distancing is maintained, chairs for the funeral service will be set up with a 2-chair gap
    • Food and beverages will not be permitted during visitations until further notice
    • If appropriate, families should consider the option of deferring services (e.g. hold a small private event and defer a public event for a later date)
    • Attendees who exhibit signs of illness may be asked to wear a mask and observe the Safe Distance Protocol
    • We encourage families to request that family members and guests who are not well should not attend, and that in the interest of everyone’s health, expressions of sympathy such as handshaking, hugging and other direct contact should be avoided
    • We encourage families to conclude their events by 8 PM to allow us time to clean and disinfect the facilities at the end of the day.

 

B.      Interment

    • Individuals will be permitted to approach the grave to place flowers on the casket once our employees have had the opportunity to distance themselves a minimum of 6 feet
    • The casket will not be lowered until the attendees have vacated the area

 

C.      Mausoleum and Niche Entombments

    • All attendees will be required to adhere to the Safe Distance Protocol maintaining at least 6 feet from our staff at all times
    • Services shall be completed in an outdoor common area in front of the building
    • During the placement in and sealing of the crypt or niche, attendance will be limited to a maximum of 10 individuals for casket entombments; 5 individuals for urn entombments (a 6-foot distance from staff must be maintained at all times).

 

D.      Cremation Witnessing

    • All witnessing gatherings will be restricted to to a maximum of 10 individuals
    • All attendees will be required to maintain a distance of 6 feet from staff at all times.

 

We thank our families, their guests and all visitors to our locations and facilities for their understanding during these extraordinary times.