BEAUMONT, Texas — Funerals are still happening amid the global pandemic. COVID-19 has forced funeral homes across the country to adapt to new rules.
Changes are on the horizon and not just for this Beaumont funeral home along Washington Boulevard.
On Friday, Mayor Becky Ames, among other county judges, issued a stay-at-home order Friday afternoon covering six counties in Southeast Texas.
"This is a new for us as far as funeral industries concerned," Funeral Director Lashon Proctor said.
Proctor has been at Proctor's Mortuary for the past 20 years and says COVID-19 has forced them go against tradition by restricting visitation to only ten people.
"Normally, families are used to a certain type of service,” Proctor said. “A certain type of way of putting their loved ones to rest, and I think with eliminating the number of people it is kind of hard for families to deal with."
They've started streaming services for clients with larger families. These changes come amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed several lives nationwide.
"As funeral home owners and workers and providers, every case could be something that you have to deal with,” Proctor said. “Like, it's a virus that you can catch so we've always practiced that in the funeral home."
Here in Southeast Texas, there are at least 28 confirmed coronavirus cases. This week, the region saw its first death due to COVID-19.
With a stay at home order issued for several counties across Southeast Texas, this declaration still allows funerals to take place with the exception of limiting capacity.
“Everyone could be contagious because we don't know. In that sense, once they look at it, and they look at it that way, I think everybody will be safe because they will protect their own and they will protect their families,” Proctor said.
Mayor Ames says that graves side services are still allowed under the stay at home order, just make sure to practice social distancing while out there.
“We are putting this declaration in place to do everything we can to prevent anymore death [and] to certainly spread the word about what people need to do," said Mayor Becky Ames.