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Funeral homes feel impact of coronavirus

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Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 20:45:17-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Funeral homes in West Michigan are abiding by extra precautionary measures in place due to coronavirus. Heritage Life Funeral home is no different.

The sign with new regulations greets you at the door. No more than 50 people are allowed for funeral visitation at a time.

It's been a lot to keep up with.

“Every day, every 12 hours, a new mandate comes down,” funeral director Matt Hollebeek said.

Services change daily, too.

“Listening to families, and what they want us to do, and making arrangements based on that and then 12 hours later, it’s all unraveled,” Hollebeek said.

They're abiding by all the regulations in place. So far, families are understanding. That doesn't change the duties of the job, however.

“We also have the practical side to what we do, which is caring for the dead,” Hollebeek said.

It's becoming increasingly more difficult as more and more places shut down.

“County clerks are shutting down, doctors aren’t available. I still have the function of my job to do, which is bury or cremate the people who have died,” Hollebeek said.

Funeral director Matt Hollebeek says he's already been in conversation with other local funeral directors. They're concerned if part of their workforce becomes sick, they won't be able to get their work done. They're hoping to all work together to get through this uncertain time.