RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — When a state board that oversees funeral homes revealed that a local hospital refused to tell people picking up bodies whether the dead person had been infected with the novel coronavirus, it raised a lot of eyebrows.
And that’s in part because many people didn’t realize the virus could be transmitted after death.
“Anything expelled through the airways even soon after death could be potentially hazardous. Just like tuberculosis is,” said Mark Blake the president of the North Carolina Board of Funeral Services.
Like many of us, funeral-home workers wear masks these days.
But Blake said they need to do much more than that when coming in contact with a body infected with COVID-19.
And, he said, they need to know before they arrive at the hospital, nursing home, or medical examiner’s office.
“It is imperative that we use higher levels of protocol when we are engaging or interacting with a deceased person that has been diagnosed with this or suspected have been diagnosed with this,” he said, It puts our folks at risk. And it puts their families at risk. It puts the other workers in the funeral homes at risk.”