How we are handling COVID-19

UPDATED MARCH 19, 2021 — Bellows Funeral Chapel’s highest priority is the safety, well-being and health of our families, communities and caring professional staff. We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure a safe place for the families we serve and our caring professional staff. We are taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of any illnesses.

The information provided here represents our current response based on information available to us by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH), National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and the Rhode Island Funeral Directors Association (RIFDA).

Our funeral home is strictly following social distancing requirements for all events, locations and interactions, as recommended by the Rhode Island Department of Health’s limit on gatherings.   This limits the number of attendees of a funeral service within the funeral home to 50% of the available capacity, a church service to 75% of the available capacity with a maximum of 250 people, visitations to 50% of the available capacity in the building at a time, and graveside burial services to 500 people.  The following measures are in place:

•Place of Death Response - Residential or Nursing Facility

Upon notification of a death occurring, we will maintain our one-hour response unless otherwise instructed by us or the facility where the death occurred.

•Arrangement Consultations

Our funeral directors have the technology to initiate and complete arrangements via ZOOM, or over the phone, reducing in person consultation time.

•Visitations & Funerals

Our funeral home is available for public or private use. With any use singular events will occur, and social distancing will be required. Accessibility and monitoring attendance will be discussed with each family.

•Off-site Guidelines

We have contacted area churches and facilities to understand their guidelines and restrictions for events. Please contact us.

•Cemetery Guidelines 

We have contacted area cemeteries to understand their guidelines and restrictions for events. Please contact us. 

•Attendance Guidelines for Funeral & Memorial Services

We are following current DOH guidelines provided to us regarding number of attendees at any event. Currently, the maximum number of family members & guests allowed in our funeral home for a visitation/wake or funeral service in the funeral home is fifty percent (50%) of the available capacity, and a service in a house of worship is seventy-five percent (75 %) of the facility’s available capacity, with a maximum of 250 attendees.

•Technology Capabilities

We have online arrangement collaboration, service selection options and merchandise selection available through our Family Connections program. We also have onsite and off-site live streaming equipment for events.

In addition, we are operating with the following health and safety measures in place: 

  • Our funeral home will follow increased infection prevention and control precautions, per CDC/OSHA guidelines. We have increased our public and workspace sanitation schedules and frequency.
  • All employees are instructed to stay home in the event of illness. We’ve encouraged employees to refrain from coming to work should they feel any symptoms of COVID-19, influenza or any other illness.
  • We ask all families and individuals to assess their own health before visiting our facility or attending a funeral.
  • Our staff is to follow the public health authorities’ guidance regarding hygiene and personal care. This applies to the care of the deceased, the care of your family, and guest and personal hygiene at the workplace.
  • We are staggering on-site gatherings. We will not have back-to-back or multiple services happening at a time to avoid large gatherings.
  • We require embalming of the deceased take place for any service that includes a viewing, including private family viewings and requested viewings prior to direct cremation, without exception.  Embalming will not be required for direct cremation services where a viewing does not take place.

We understand that the recommendations listed above greatly affect the ability to hold or attend funeral services. We understand how difficult the COVID-19 situation is for all, especially those who are grieving during this time. We recognize that any delays in a funeral, memorial or final gathering also delays your natural grieving and healing process. While we can’t ask you to “pause” your grief, we will take every possible step to support you during this difficult time—even if that means a limited size final gathering for now. 

  • Share a condolence online. Even if you can’t attend services in-person, you can still show your support by leaving a message on your loved one’s online guestbook. To do so, navigate to, find or search your loved one’s name, click their obituary, and then select “Guestbook.”
  • Consider sending flowers to either the funeral home holding services or directly to a family member’s home.
  • Reach out to the family by phone or text
  • Make a donation to charity in memory of the deceased

We will continue to keep you informed and these guidelines are subject to updates or changes.

We're here to assist families 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Brad & Allan Bellows

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