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Funeral homes make changes to services amid coronavirus pandemic

Porter Loring Mortuaries offers online services, other options for families

SAN ANTONIO – Porter Loring Mortuaries is changing the way services are conducted and is even offering livestream options.

The president of Porter Loring Mortuaries said the funeral home company is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Making sure that services do not exceed 10 people, which include our staff as well as the minister,” said Helen Loring Dear, president of Porter Loring Mortuaries.

Loring Dear said they are also coming up with different options for families who have lost a loved one, including giving people the option to pay their respects from inside their vehicle.

“We will have their loved one placed in the casket outside under a port coacher, where families can gather no more than 10 near the casket, but also we can allow passersby to drive by in their vehicle,” Loring Dear said.

The funeral services company also implemented a program called “From my heart to yours.” People not attending the service can send a photo of themselves and leave a message of support for the family.

“We’re going to print those pictures off with a message on the back and have them upright on the pews as if they were actually sitting there for the service, just to show more support for the family,” Loring Dear said.

People can also use the livestreaming options for visitation or chapel services. Porter Loring is also offering virtual grief support groups in place of in-person meetings.

“We’re just kind of taking this day by day along with everybody else. So we’re still brainstorming new service options to provide for families,” Loring Dear said

Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries is also offering livestreaming for services, drive-thru visitations and online memorial books.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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