TO ALL FUNERAL DIRECTORS ON THE ISLAND OF JAMAICA

In light of the current situation where our island is now seeing cases of COVID-19 infected individuals, the Montego Bay Community College in collaboration with the Certified Funeral Professionals of Jamaica (an affiliate of the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association based in Atlanta Georgia) take the opportunity to provide the following guidelines for Funeral Directors and after life care givers in Jamaica:

  1. Follow the OSHA guideline when dealing with human remains and adopt the Universal Precaution principle where each deceased is treated and cared for as though they can potentially transmit an infectious disease.
  2. Wear proper protective gear (self preservation is key in everything that is done).
  3. Ensure the work equipment (stretcher, church trolley ect.) are properly sanitized so that secondary transmission of viruses is eliminated.
  4. Work areas (morgue, vehicle and office space) must be properly sanitized regularly using the appropriate disinfecting and sanitizing products so that health of workers, clients and the general public is protected.
  5. Pay attention to and follow the information and guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.
  6. Ensure that human remains are properly stored at the required temperature and that rodents, insects and other animals cannot access the storage area as they are potential vectors.
  7. Only staff members and authorized personnel should have access to storage and preparation area and that as best as possible this access is limited.
  8. Do not re-use body bags.
  9. Securely and safely dispose of gloves, body bags, masks and any other item used in the handling, transportation and care of deceased individuals.

Contributed by: Cameka Campbell-Green; member of the MBCC Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Programme Advisory Board.