Local funeral services are being altered or changed altogether during the COVID-19 outbreak as gatherings of 10 or more people has been discouraged by state health officials.

John Cook Rudder, of Rudder Funeral Homes, said Friday that limiting 10 people in a building is causing many services to be held at the graveside.

“Thursday, we had a very small funeral with only a few people,” said Rudder. “We were able to have it in the chapel.”

Rudder said it was only a matter of time before a family wanted to have a visitation.

“When it comes to that, we will let one go in at a time, and everyone wait in the parking lot,” he said.

Rudder and Cody Gore, of Scottsboro Funeral Home, said both businesses are following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and other officials.

“While this situation is less than ideal, it is in the best interest of everyone,” said Gore. “We sincerely regret this for the families who are already going through such a difficult time.”

Gore said, until further notice, visitations at Scottsboro Funeral Home will only be brief and for the immediately family.

“All services will be graveside and open to the public,” he said.

Rudder said, like other businesses, his funeral home is doing its diligence.

“We wipe down doorknobs and light switches constantly,” said Rudder. “Right now, it’s just something we have to deal with. I hope and pray everyone understands.”

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