SAN ANTONIO — A local business is working to accommodate families in mourning amid new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control advising against large gatherings to mitigate the potential spread of the novel coronavirus.
Mission Park Funeral Homes and Cemeteries announced Friday it would stream funeral services for families at no additional cost, effectively allowing mourners who are immunocompromised, elderly or unable to travel to say their goodbyes.
“We announced it just this last week during the height of when the coronavirus was really hitting hard for all of us around the United States, and we’re really starting to adapt,” said Mission Park chairman and CEO Dick Tips. “We started to make changes for the positive for our families that we serve.”
Tips said his staff is now capable of accommodating filming requests from families. He estimates the company has filmed at least a dozen funeral services.
“I just know that it would be important for me, personally, to be able to say goodbye,” Tips said.
The streaming service adds to other services which allow mourners to continue their practice of social distancing. Tips listed a drive-through guest book signing service and an online memorial book service that allows for people to remember their loved one at a distance—things that Mission Park has always offered, but that have never been capitalized on until recently.
“That’s what we are," Tips said. "We’re all people who want to get together and I’m a hand shaker and a hugger and I would rather be there with you, but right now in these difficult times, we’re going to make it a little easier for the families to at least pay their respects and let people know that they care."
Mission Park, a family-owned business, has operated for nearly two centuries. Tips said a key to their growth is forward-thinking, adding that the business remains prepared to make more changes as the CDC and local leaders announce new guidelines.
To date, five coronavirus cases have been confirmed in San Antonio.
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