Lubbock funeral homes face unique challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — While the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Lubbock, the number of deaths from the virus have held steady.

Funeral homes are able to operate at 50 percent capacity, but funeral homes like Lake Ridge Chapel & Memorial Designers and Agape Funeral Chapel and Crematory have still added some restrictions to their services.

Before, funeral homes were only allowed to have 10 people come to a service, pushing funeral homes like Lake Ridge to choose to live stream services.  

“Originally, I thought we were crossing a line that maybe we shouldn’t, but the analytics have proven that there was a need and is a need,” said funeral director Santos Moreno. “A lot of these folks are grieving and now they are locked in their house they can’t go anywhere.” 

But at Agape Funeral Chapel, they said they never saw a need for streaming services.

“I’ve chosen not to get involved in live streaming at this point,” funeral director Steve Hill said. “I think it’s impersonal still it’s too one dimensional people need that contact with their loved ones.”

But, with more people being able to attend services, Lake Ridge has started handing out masks to those that attend their services. 

“They are preventing us from giving it to our seniors, which are our pillars of our community, to ensure that they have some safety cause that’s usually who comes to our services,” Moreno said. 

And while Agape has placed their chairs 6 feet apart in their chapel, they said they will not require masks. 

“I don’t wear a mask because I think it’s so impersonal when dealing with the families but they are welcome to wear a mask if they wish,” Hill said. 

Funeral services are getting back to normal but both Moreno and Hill said many families have chosen to hold off on funeral services until the pandemic is over.

“I wonder if they are going to be able to have that closure by waiting that long because the service really serves as a point of closure,” Hill said. 

Both funeral homes said they hope they will be back to full capacity soon, and able to have more traditional services so that those who have lost a loved one can have a chance for closure. 

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