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COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Updated November 10, 2021

Effective Date: November 11, 2021

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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:

Do you have any of these symptoms?

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough or barking cough (croup)
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Decrease or loss of smell or taste
  • Runny or stuffy/congested nose
  • Headache
  • Nausea/Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Pink eye (for adults)
  • Stomach pain (for adults)
  • Falling down often (for older adults)

Has a doctor, health care provider or public health unit told you that you should currently be isolating (staying at home)?

Have you been identified as a “close contact” of someone who currently has COVID-19 in the last 14 days?

Have you received a COVID Alert exposure notification on your cell phone in the last 14 days (and have not been tested or waiting for your result)?

Have you or anyone you live with traveled outside of Canada in the last 14 days?

Is anyone you live with currently experiencing any new COVID-19 symptoms and/or waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms?

If a visitor answers YES to any of the above questions, PLEASE DO NOT enter this location. 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.

As of July 16, our mausoleum buildings will return to normal visitation hours. Visitors must screen themselves prior to entering the building, wear a mask or face covering (unless they are unable to do so for medical purposed), and maintain physical distancing with those outside their household.

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 most recent directives from the Province of Ontario and the Bereavement Authority of Ontario concerning attendance at a funeral, the following will be observed:

Unless they are from the same household, all attendees at an outdoor graveside interment service are required to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet at all times.

For outdoor graveside services with a funeral director present, no capacity limit will be enforced.

The maximum number of attendees permitted to attend an outdoor graveside burial service where no funeral director is present will be limited to 25. For purposes of contact tracing, families will be required to provide a list of attendees to cemetery staff prior to the interment service.

Immediately following the committal service, attendees must return to their vehicles. Cemetery staff will not approach until all attendees have left the immediate vicinity of the grave.

The maximum number of attendees permitted at a committal inside a mausoleum 20.

For purposes of contact tracing, families will be required to provide a list of attendees to cemetery staff prior to the interment service when no funeral director is present.

All committal prayer services will take place in the main chapel area of the mausoleum.

Following the committal prayers, family members will be permitted to go to the place of entombment after cemetery staff have placed the casket or urn into the crypt or niche prior to it being sealed. Cemetery staff will not return to seal the crypt or niche until all attendees have left.

Families for mausoleum committals who wish to have more than the maximum allowable number of attendees inside will be given the option of holding the committal service outside the entrance of the mausoleum. Following the committal prayers, family members will be permitted to go to the place of entombment after cemetery staff have placed the casket or urn into the crypt or niche prior to it being sealed. Cemetery staff will not return to seal the crypt or niche until all attendees have left.

Interments/Entombments for COVID-19-related Deaths

For entombment inside a mausoleum, committal services must take place outside the main doors of the mausoleum. Following the committal prayers, family members will be permitted to go to the place of entombment after cemetery staff have placed the casket or urn into the crypt or niche prior to it being sealed. Cemetery staff will not return to seal the crypt or niche until all attendees have left.

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. If a funeral director is present, no capacity limit will be enforced. All attendees will be required to return to their vehicles and depart prior to cemetery staff approaching the grave to complete the burial

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

Our winter mausoleum visitation hours take effect on November 1. Mausoleums will be open 8:00am-6:00pm daily, with the excpetion of Our Lady Immaculate Mausoleum in Guelph, which will be open 9:00am-6:30pm daily.

Monthly Memorial Mass

Please be advised that our monthly Memorial Masses are cancelled until further notice due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Those recently interred in our local cemeteries will be remembered in prayer with the assistance of the Sisters of the Precious Blood.

Ongoing Events

Memorial Masses

These Masses are held the second Tuesday of every month at 4:30 pm at Our Lady of Victory Mausoleum on Plains Road. The names of all those interred at one of the Hamilton/Burlington Catholic Cemeteries within the previous month are available to be read in the Book of Life, and will be read aloud. The next-of-kin receive an invitation in the mail and all family and friends are welcome to attend.

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