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COVID-19 News

UPDATED COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Updated October 14, 2020

The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Hamilton is committed to serving our families and working to ensure their health and safety. We are equally committed and focused on the health and safety of our employees. We are therefore adjusting our operations and levels of public interaction in an effort to do our part to slow the transmission of the virus. Please know that we are taking extra precautions to keep our facilities and offices sanitized. Our office remains open to serve you and your family. Please review the following information:

Safe Distance Protocol

The Catholic Cemeteries has implemented a Safe Distance Protocol. We ask that there be no physical contact such as handshakes or hugs, and our employees will observe a 6-foot distance with visitors wherever possible.

Screening
All visitors will be screened:

  1. Do you have any of these symptoms?
  • Fever
  • Cough/Sneezing
  • Difficulty Breathing/Shortness of Breath
  1. Have you travelled outside of the country within the last 14 days?
  2. Have you or any member of your immediate family been in contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19?
  3. Have you or any member of your immediate family been advised to self-isolate?
  4. Has Public Health been involved?

If a visitor answers YES to any of the above questions, we ask that they kindly return home and call us to make arrangements by alternative means (phone/email, etc.).

For All Office Appointments, Cremation and Interment Services

  • Any individual who is under self-isolation or does not pass the self-screening test is not permitted to attend any of our offices, cemeteries or mausoleum building for any reason.
  • While the outdoor cemetery grounds remain open, we recommend that visits unrelated to an interment service be avoided.
  • Our mausoleum buildings are closed during business hours for visits that are unrelated to attendance at an entombment.
  • Our reception rooms at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Burlington and Marymount Cemetery, Guelph are not available for use.
  • Offices are open for both pre-need and at-need arrangements by appointment only. Where feasible, arrangements may be completed by telephone or other electronic means. Walk-in visits without an appointment will not be permitted.
  • Families attending a cemetery office for an in-person meeting are required to wear a mask, unless they are unable to do so for medical purposes. No more than two family members will be permitted to enter the office.

Please be reminded of our Safe Distance Protocol to which all attendees will be required to adhere and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from employees at all times.

Interments/Entombments for non-COVID-19-related Deaths

  • In keeping with the Province of Ontario’s most recent directives concerning attendance at a funeral, a maximum of 100 people will be permitted to attend an outdoor graveside burial service, provided there is one funeral home staff member present for every 10 attendees. For interments where no funeral home staff is present, a maximum of 20 attendees will be permitted.
  • Unless they are from the same household, attendees are required to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet at all times.
  • Immediately following the committal service, attendees must return to their vehicles and depart. Cemetery staff will not approach the grave until all attendees have left.
  • In keeping with the Province of Ontario’s most recent directives concerning attendance at a funeral indoors, the maximum number of attendees permitted at a committal inside a mausoleum is as follows:
    • Our Lady of Victory Mausoleum, Burlington: 20
    • Holy Souls Mausoleum, Burlington: 10
    • Our Lady of Peace Mausoleum, Burlington: 15
    • Our Lady of Hope Mausoleum, Ancaster: 20
    • Our Lady of the Angels Mausoleum, Stoney Creek: 20
    • Our Lady of the Assumption Mausoleum, Paris: 20
    • Our Lady Immaculate Mausoleum, Guelph: 20
  • Immediately following the committal prayers, attendees must exit the mausoleum. No one will be permitted to accompany the casket to the place of entombment or witness the entombment process. Cemetery staff will not approach the casket until all attendees have left.
  • Families for mausoleum committal who wish to have more than the maximum allowable number of attendees inside the mausoleum will be given the option of holding the committal service outside the entrance of the mausoleum. Immediately following the committal service, all attendees must return to their vehicles and depart. Cemetery staff will not approach the casket until all attendees have left. If this option is chosen, no family will be permitted to enter the mausoleum.

Interments/Entombments for COVID-19-related Deaths

  • For interment inside a mausoleum, committal services must take place outside the main doors of the mausoleum. Once the committal service is complete, the casket or urn will be left outside the entrance door. Once the family has returned to their vehicles, the cemetery staff will proceed with the entombment. For an outdoor crypt or columbarium niche, staff will complete the entombment once the family has left the vicinity of the burial space.
  • For in-ground burial, caskets will be placed into the concrete container (liner or vault) immediately upon arrival at the grave. All other protocols indicated above will be enforced.
  • Attendance will be restricted to a maximum of 20 people, including clergy.

Thank you for adhering to these protocols and for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times. We pray for those infected with COVID-19, those caring for the sick and for one another.

Mausoleum Visitation Hours

July 10, 2020

Beginning Monday, July 13, 2020, mausoleums operated by The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Hamilton will be opening for limited visitation as follows:

Our Lady of Victory, Holy Souls and Our Lady of Peace Mausoleums, Burlington

  • Mausoleums will be open for visitation from 4:30pm to 8:00pm Monday to Friday
  • Mausoleums will be open for visitation from 12:00pm to 8:00pm on Saturday
  • Mausoleums will be open for visitation from 8:00am to 8:00pm on Sunday

Our Lady of Hope Mausoleum, Ancaster & Our Lady of the Angels Mausoleum, Stoney Creek

  • Mausoleums will be open for visitation from 4:30pm to 8:00pm Monday to Friday
  • Mausoleums will be open for visitation from 12:00pm to 5:00pm on Saturday
  • Mausoleums will be open for visitation from 8:00am to 8:00pm on Sunday

Our Lady Immaculate Mausoleum, Guelph

  • Mausoleums will be open for visitation from 4:30pm to 8:00pm Monday to Friday
  • Mausoleums will be open for visitation from 12:00pm to 8:00pm Saturday and Sunday

Our Lady of the Assumption Mausoleum, Paris

  • Mausoleums will be open for daily visitation from 4:30pm to 8:00pm

Additionally:

  • All visitors should self-assess before coming to the cemetery. If they do not pass the self-assessment, they should not attend the cemetery.
  • Only one entrance will be open at each mausoleum. All safety exits are operational.
  • In accordance with directives from the Bereavement Authority of Ontario, all visitors to the mausoleum MUST wear a mask or face covering.
  • All visitors are expected to maintain social distance of 2 meters from anyone with whom they are not cohabitating.
  • Visitors should refrain from touching anything inside the mausoleum (entrance and exit doors excluded).
  • No flowers or other items are to be brought into the mausoleum. Any items left in the mausoleums will be disposed of.
  • Visitors should restrict the time of their visit to accommodate other visitors.
  • Washrooms are closed during visitation hours.
  • Visits during the above-noted times are open to the public and are unsupervised.
  • Anyone requesting a private, supervised visit outside of these hours should contact the local cemetery office.
  • The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Hamilton assumes no responsibility for any injury or illness that may occur during a mausoleum visit.

UPDATED BURIAL PROCEDURES

Updated June 19, 2020

For the duration of the Province of Ontario's State of Emergency Declaration, The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Hamilton is changing the operating procedures at the cemeteries it operates. The following measures will be put in place:

  1. All cemeteries remain open to the public for visitations. This may change without notice.
  2. All masoleums remain closed to the public.
  3. Prayer services at burials will continue.
  4. Attendance at burials remains limited to the numbers prescribed by the Government of Ontario with some exceptions.
  5. Mausoleum attendance at entombments for non-COVID-19-related deaths is limited to a maximum of 20 people with some exceptions due to occupancy levels.
  6. Prayer services for mausoleum entombments for COVID-19-related deaths are to take place outside of the mausoleum.
  7. Flowers are not to be left at the mausoleum for entombments.
  8. No interments or entombments will take place until the family and Funeral Home staff have left the cemetery.
  9. Cemetery staff will do their best to ensure that the attendance rules are followed. Family in attendance at burials who do not follow the attendance rules outlined above, or any other part of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) will be responsible for the fines and penalties as stipulated. A copy of the News Release from the Government of Ontario may be found here.

These procedures will be in place during the State of Emergency. These procedures may be updated or changed without notice at any time.

We appreciate and understand what our families are dealing with at this very difficult time in their lives. It is truly unfortunate for families to have to deal with the loss of a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all pray that this State of Emergency will be over as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in these difficult times.

Sincerely,

THE CATHOLIC CEMETERIES OF THE DIOCESE OF HAMILTON

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