Statement on COVID-19 - Update



Friday April 4, 2020 COVID-19 UPDATE

What's new

Calgary announced festivals & city events canceled until June 30, 2020 but funerals are still permitted. 

As COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi and city officials work to take the necessary steps in protecting the health and safety of all residents.  In the most recent (April 3, 2020) update by Mayor Nenshi it was announced that all public events scheduled in Calgary between April 3rd and June 30th have been cancelled. Please watch the below video for a full explanation of cancellations.

This announcement also addressed events taking place on private property. As made clear by Mayor Nenshi events taking on private property with 15 people or less and following social distancing guidelines are permitted.  Heritage Funeral Homes and Calgary Crematorium stands in full support of the Mayor’s decision and will continue to follow the provisions in place for hosting private events.  

As detailed in the Heritage Funeral Homes and Calgary Crematorium COVID-19 update shared on March 27th our team of dedicated funeral professionals remain committed to helping families plan a private farewell following the death of a loved one. Families who entrust Heritage Funeral Homes and Calgary Crematorium with caring for their loved can expect modified practices at the same high level of excellent service.

Families with questions or concerns about funeral planning are encouraged to contact Heritage Funeral Homes and Calgary Crematorium directly by calling 403-299-0111 or emailing heritage@hffs.com or ccl@hffs.com

Respectfully,


Jeff Hagel
President
Heritage Funeral Homes and Calgary Crematorium
PH: 403-299-0111
www.HFFS.com

Click to view Mayor Nenshi's April 3rd announcement 



Friday, March 27th Update

What's new

The feelings of grief and heartache that follows the death of a beloved friend or family member cannot be placed on hold during these complicated times.  A meaningful tribute helps those who are grieving begin the healing process. 

Heritage Funeral Homes and Calgary Crematorium have been designed to meet the needs of families as we navigate COVID-19.  We are able to offer additional space as required to provide proper social distancing among guests in attendance.  Please note this space is offered at no additional cost for the families we serve. With Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health's March 27th announcement limiting those in attendance at one time to 15, we are encouraging friend and family to stagger their arrive times and not gather in large groups outside.

To help protect the public against the spread of COVID-19 our team is screened on a daily basis.  Those employees who returned from traveling outside of the country will be on self-quarantine for 14 days. It is important to know that as we strive to adapt to this new normal we will continue to ask for the community’s support in honoring lives and showing comfort to the families we are serving.

If you are unable to attend a gathering or service, we encourage you to record a video using your smartphone or tablet.  Please take a few minutes to share your favorite memories of a person and how much they meant to you with comforting words of support for grieving families.  Heritage Funeral Homes and Calgary Crematorium will be honored to share these special videos with the families we are serving.

Please follow this link for more details on how to record special memories on your mobile device.  Click here to send video condolences.

We are also aware this may be challenging financial times for some families. As in the past, we will not turn anyone away for lack of funds and will continue to work with each family to make every service we provide a meaningful one.

If a family should experience the death of loved one due to COVID-19 and wishes to plan a second tribute gathering in the months to come, the use of any one of our eight modern buildings will be available at a substantially discounted rate.  Heritage Funeral Homes and Calgary Crematorium knows the value of bringing family and friends together.  It will be our honor to assist in planning a second remembrance to include extended family and friends.  Please know that when the time is suitable we are here for our community.

Again, we continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide crucial dates as needed. We encourage you to stay up to date through Alberta’s COVID-19 website and COVID-19 resources from Dr. Allen Wolfelt.

Thank you for your continued trust in us. 

Jeff Hagel
President
Heritage Funeral Homes and Calgary Crematorium


Tuesday, March 17th Update

What's new

Alberta declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act.

What does this mean?

  • Today’s announcement was the first announcement that specifically mentioned that funerals can proceed. Our Alberta Government has recognized how import funeral services are for the community, especially during these complicated times.
    • Many are experiencing a death in their family completely separate from COVID-19. Proceeding with an initial funeral service (even though limited in scope) provides the ability to surround the family with much needed support in the time of their loss.
  • We have adjusted our seating to have social distancing between seats. Based on our large facilities we can safely accommodate 50 people at funeral services, visitations, celebrations of life, memorial services and cremation services at Calgary Crematorium and Heritage Funeral Services locations while still maintaining abundant social distancing.

  • We are here to serve families and our community we are proceeding with small funerals under 50 and offering families the option of recording the funeral to privately share or post online for family and friends who cannot attend.

  • We are honoured to assist families that have more than 50 people attend by extending visiting hours at all services to ensure no more than 50 people are present at one time.

  • Alberta’s recent announcement restricts our ability to handle food due to cross contamination but we are still welcoming families to use our facilities as a place to gather and remember with up to 50 people at a time. We are discussing with families that funeral receptions will be postponed.

  • Funeral service is often accompanied with limousine service and with Calgary Crematorium and Heritage Funeral Services family transportation accommodating 11 passengers we do not feel that social distancing can be achieved and therefore we are encouraging families to use their own vehicles with smaller capacities.

  • Calgary Crematorium and Heritage Funeral Services Family Care representatives will continue to assist families by submitting time sensitive forms on their behalf and will provide a follow-up meeting once this health emergency subsides.

  • Families finding comfort in talking to one of Calgary Crematorium and Heritage Funeral Services prearrangements specialists are welcome to continue to reach out any time as we are available to assist via telephone, email and internet.

  • Calgary Crematorium and Heritage Funeral Services are welcoming families impacted by local cemeteries who have postponed the burial and placement of urns to contact us for safekeeping options of their loved one.



March 16, 2020

Calgary Crematorium offers services and support that are essential to many individuals.

We will continue to serve our community in these complicated times. By monitoring the situation closely and taking immediate action when needed, we are doing what we can to ensure the health and well-being of our staff, our community and families we are honoured to serve. 

While the risk remains low in Alberta, we are taking this situation seriously. Here are the steps we are taking to ensure the health and safety at Calgary Crematorium.

Calgary Crematorium’s Commitment to our Community

Calgary Crematorium will remain open with extended operating hours to best accommodate families needs.

An Emergency preparedness plan is in place that includes caring for all Calgarians during these unprecedented times.

A stand alone facility outside of Calgary Crematorium’s location has been identified to handle all COVID-19 deceased if required.

Calgary Crematorium will continue to be proactive in accordance with our pandemic planning and guidance from various agencies including Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

As with any virus or respiratory illness, good hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying at home and away from others when you are feeling ill is crucial in reducing the spread of illness.

We encourage everyone to review the Government of Alberta website regarding COVID-19 for further information on prevention at https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Caring for those that have questions about an expected passing or assisting families that have experienced a death.

Arranging & Scheduling Funerals - what we are doing

Appointment times for arranging funerals are offered to families in person, via telephone or by video call.

Elderly and Immune compromised families

Offered appointments at 9am (the quietest time with the least amount of people in the funeral home)

Feeling ill, or live with someone who may be 

Please call prior to visiting the funeral home

Signage has been put up reminding everyone of this.

IQair filters using hyperHEPA filters with virus and bacterial removal efficiency greater than 99.5% are assisting to keep our buildings safe.

Vigilant continual disinfecting of all high-touch surfaces within the funeral home 

In consultation with various agencies and carefully considering Dr. Hinshaw’s announcements, Calgary Crematorium wants to reassure families that we are continuing to provide the opportunity to gather and remember a loved one and proceed with funeral services, this is an important step in the healing process.

Funeral Services, Celebrations of Life and Funeral Receptions - what we are doing

Funerals are continuing to take place - visit the obituary for up to date information

  • Social Distancing is being encouraged 
  • Seating has been spaced out
  • Signage regarding sharing condolences and provide your support but limiting your physical contact when with the family has been put up.
  • Shared books, hymnals, have been replaced by digital projections
  • Additional hand sanitizer stations at all funerals
  • Memorial Books are accompanied by sanitized pens and cleaning wipes
  • Online streaming available to all families (without cost)
  • Attendees who are Feeling ill, or live with someone who may be are asked to view services online vs attending
  • AHS exterior signage has been put out to remind those ill to avoid visiting.
  • Limiting attendees to close family and friends (less than 250 people)
  • Online streaming available for others to view
  • Online guest book messages are encouraged to show support
  • Video condolences are being accepted to be put together for the family, at no additional cost.

Things are changing on a daily basis, and we will provide you with up to date information as it becomes available.

Please keep in mind that our recommendations and policies around COVID-19 safety will continue to evolve as the situation changes locally.

Respectfully,

Jeff Hagel
President
Calgary Crematorium


COVID-19 March 12

The health, safety and well being of our families, guests and staff are always a top priority. As COVID-19 concerns heighten around the world we want to assure the public that from the onset of COVID-19 Calgary Crematorium has been in contact with the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), Funeral Service Association of Canada (FSAC), Alberta Health Services (AHS), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other agencies around the world to ensure we are aware of, and aligned with, guidance regarding best practices.  

To date there are no known cases where this virus has been transmitted from one person to another at a funeral home or from a deceased body, but this hasn’t decreased our diligence regarding COVID-19. 

Calgary Crematorium is continuing to thoroughly disinfect our buildings using industry-approved health care grade products.

In addition to the standard funeral home cleaning and disinfecting, we have taken additional measures to increase the disinfecting of all surfaces within the funeral homes and the use of IQair filters that have a virus and bacterial removal efficiency of greater than 99.5 percent.

Calgary Crematorium want to reassure families that we are here to assist them in caring for their loved ones and we will continue to arrange funeral services during these uncertain times. Recognizing a life that has been lost is a critical step in the grief journey.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced March 12th, that Alberta is asking organizers to cancel any events that have more than 250 attendees.
 
In consultation with various agencies and carefully considering recent announcements, Calgary Crematorium wants to reassure families that we will continue to provide the opportunity to gather and remember a loved one and proceed with funeral services as we know this is an important step in the healing process. 

With over 75% of funerals expecting less than 250 people, we do not see this announcement affecting most services. It was also announced that this does not extend to places of worship meaning all funeral masses and funeral services at churches are able to proceed, but we will respect the discretion of each individual church. If a family is anticipating more than 250 attendees, we suggest an announcement be added to the obituary that the funeral will be held for family and close friends.  We are also offering families the opportunity to stream funeral services online for those unable to attend.

 It is our hope that this gives you confidence in the actions we are taking regarding COVID-19 and in an effort to provide further piece of mind you will start to see additional hand sanitizers and air purifiers throughout the funeral home.


Respectfully,

Jeff Hagel
President
Calgary Crematorium & Heritage Funeral Services LTD.