News/Press Releases Prior to March 23

 

Visit this page for the most current News/Press Releases

March 20, 2020

Federal Tax and Loan Relief Information

Small Business Assistance

Federal Tax Information:
The IRS has created a special webpage on Coronavirus Tax Relief where individuals and businesses can see the latest news and guidance provided.

Deferring Tax Payments:
The Treasury Department and IRS have issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments on April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020 without penalties or interest. The guidance also allows corporate tax payers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020 without penalties or interest. The April 15 filing deadline has not changed!

Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020. If an individual or business files their tax return or request an extension of time to file by April 15, 2020, they will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by July 15.

U.S. Small Business Administration Declares Virginia a Disaster Area:
The U.S. Small Business Administration has granted disaster declaration for Virginia. As a result, affected businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters may qualify for federal disaster loans.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

For a detailed explanation of SBA’s Disaster Loans, please see SBA’s Three Step Process Factsheet.


March 20, 2020

Gov. Northam Daily COVID-19 Briefing

Daily numbers:
US has more than 13k cases and 916 deaths.
In VA 114 cases, 2 deaths, 19 hospitalizations, and there are 35 tests being processed at the state lab.
SW VA has its first case
Health Department stresses that the ONLY means of preventing greater spread is through social distancing.

Testing and Equipment –
Increased testing capacity – 1000 cases. State Lab is actively training workforce to be able to increase number of people capable of testing. There is no backlog on testing, there is a backlog getting the testing supplies. VA has received additional respirators and PPE which the state is distributing to first responders and hospitals first, then to others based upon need. VA has orders into the National Stockpile and expect shipments. Feds have been responsive to VA’s requests. Additionally, the state is looking at a lot of other areas to get the PPE – many industries use these materials and may be able to help with the short supply.

WARNING – Some businesses are not complying. All localities can enforce the 10 person limit in restaurants, theaters, and gyms.

Business Activities –
Directed ABC to allow on-premises licensees the ability to offer beer/wine for takeout and delivery.
Any employees who feel unsafe at work are suggested to discuss with their employer. Governor said that employees could also contact OSHA/Dept of Labor to lodge any concerns or complaints.

Stressful time –
Federal Substance Abuse has a hotline available 24/7. Also, there is around the clock help available at the National Suicide Hotline.

Work Force Update –
Applying for Unemployment Insurance. As of this today, claims at 30k. Increased capacity at VEC to help with online and call center questions. VEC has taken over the DMV call center to make the processes faster. Governor wants everyone to apply because the rules are changing daily, allowing more and more people to qualify for claims.

Government Mandated Shut Down –
Administration has been in a lot of discussions and there is a great deal of public talk about essential vs non-essential businesses. Virginia continues to evaluate daily. Governor takes a broad view – any business that helps or provides services daily are essential. Businesses can help to avoid any additional closures if people adhere to the social distances, good hygiene, no more than 10 people in any one confined area.

Census Forms –
Encourages all Virginians to comply with the census reporting requirements. Critical to fill out forms so that VA can qualify for its portion of the $645 billion in funding available.

Hospitals and Research Expansion –
UVA has developed a testing process to help increase testing capacity in the Commonwealth. VCU and others working to do the same.

Medical Equipment –
VA is doing all possible to ensure that hospitals and medical professions can meet the needs of every patient.

Get Outside –
Encourage people to get outside, exercise, keep moral high – just do it at a safe distance from others.


March 20, 2020

New Procedures at VA National Cemeteries due to COVID-19

Dear Funeral Directors:

All Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemeteries are open and will continue to provide interments for Veterans and eligible individuals. However, the National Cemetery Administration is continuing to adjust its services in light of the best practices urged by the CDC in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. As a result, on Friday, March 20, NCA will only conduct committal services at our 142 cemeteries nationwide for groups of 10 or fewer people. Larger groups will be asked to reduce their numbers or be refused service. We appreciate your continued support in communicating and reinforcing this direction.

In addition, families should know that volunteer veterans honor guards may no longer be providing services at all cemeteries.

Starting March 23, 2020, as a matter of public health and safety, committal services and the rendering of military funeral honors, whether by military personnel or volunteer organizations, will not be conducted until further notice at VA national cemeteries. Immediate family members (limited to no more than 10 individuals) of the deceased may choose to witness the interment if desired. There is no service involved with witnessing an interment. Families will be able to view the interment of their loved one from a safe distance.

We are asking for your assistance in communicating the changes in operations to families that have interments scheduled and contact honors providers to cancel their services. Please contact the national cemetery where the interment is scheduled as soon as possible if the family wishes to postpone the interment. NCA will work to schedule a committal or memorial services at a later date for those families that choose to continue with the direct interment or postpone the interment.

The National Cemetery Scheduling Office in St. Louis will continue to provide scheduling services for the duration of the current emergency. To schedule a burial, please call 800-535-1117, option 1.

Our cemeteries will remain open to visitors, but we strongly urge all guests to obey local travel restrictions and avoid unnecessary travel. Visitors should expect that certain portions of a cemetery typically open to the public may be closed (for example, public information centers, chapels). Please contact the local cemetery for more information.
As warranted, NCA will provide updates on the operating status of individual national cemeteries on our social media pages: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCemeteries and https://twitter.com/VANatCemeteries

For more information about the government’s response to COVID-19 please visit: https://www.coronavirus.gov


March 20, 2020
NFDA Scores BIG WIN for Funeral Service:
Homeland Security Names Mortuary Workers as Critical Infrastructure Workers

Brookfield, Wis. – At the urging of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), guidance issued today by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) named mortuary workers as “critical infrastructure workers.” This underscores the vital role funeral directors and others who work in deathcare play in responding to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For more than a decade, NFDA has worked to ensure that during any mass-fatality event, mortuary workers are considered critical infrastructure workers. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to intensify globally and reach American shores, NFDA intensified its call to federal officials to solidify this classification.

The guidance noted words from President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Guidance for America: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

Mortuary workers, which the guidance defines as “Workers performing mortuary services, including funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemetery workers” and “Workers who coordinate with other organizations to ensure the proper recovery, handling, identification, transportation, tracking, storage, and disposal of human remains and personal effects; certify cause of death; and facilitate access to mental/behavioral health services to the family members, responders, and survivors of an incident,” are included in the “Healthcare/Public Health” category along with doctors, nurses, people performing testing and researchers. This essentially covers the full spectrum of those who work in deathcare.

This guidance helps define for state and local public health officials the professions that are essential to the COVID-19 pandemic response. The guidance specifically notes that critical infrastructure workers should have priority access to personal protective equipment and be exempt from “shelter-in-place” mandates. While the guidance does not address priority access for a COVID-19 vaccine once it is developed, this guidance does signal that critical infrastructure workers would take precedence. NFDA is planning to send a letter to DHS asking them to prioritize mortuary workers once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

“The ability of funeral professionals to safely carry out their duties during a mass-fatality incident is paramount. We were very pleased to see NFDA’s efforts pay off when the federal government recognized mortuary workers as critical to the COVID-19 pandemic response,” said NFDA CEO Christine Pepper, CAE. “The role that funeral directors and cemetery and crematory workers are playing during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical. While their work may be overlooked, they are truly on the front lines in helping to care for pandemic victims and grieving families.”

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.nfda.org.


March 20, 2020

andrews

 


March 19, 2020

Seeking FEMA Assistance to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Under the Presidential National Emergency Declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is authorized to reimburse local governments for costs associated with “emergency protective measures” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These emergency protective measures are defined in Category B of the Public Assistance Program of the Stafford Act.

Summary of eligibility expenses


March 19, 2020

coronavirus_directive_for_funeral_services

 


March 19, 2020

Today’s Update from the Governor of Virginia

As always, if you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

UPDATE:
First case of a child, (10 year old) in Gloucester, testing positive. Currently, the child is resting at home.
To date: 94 cases, 19 hospitalizations, 2 deaths.
Virginia now has several distinct clusters and signs of local transmission (northern, central, and peninsula areas)

State is unsure of how many people are currently undiagnosed. There has been an increase of reporting from outside/private labs.

To date, 1,923 people have been tested. Increased capacity at the state lab with staff working around the clock. Currently, the state lab has capacity to run 1000 tests. Additionally, VA is working on our own laboratory testing and methodologies, independent of having to order the supplies needed for the CDC tests.

Childcare –
Yesterday afternoon DSS made guidance available on website for all childcare centers and parents of children in care. The state has put administrative flexibility in place to make it easier for parents and facilities to receive subsidy payments. They have also increased the number of days for which centers can receive payment, relax rules on student attendance, etc. All information is available on www.Childcareva.com

Medicaid Updates –
VA able to announce Phase 1 of changes with more phases to come.
NEW flexibilities include:
Eliminating co-pays, prescription refills for 90 days, coverage for testing and treatment of COVID-19. NO one will lose coverage during this time. The Agency and providers are focusing on high risk individuals. The State’s Medicaid response information available on www.coverva.org

State, Local, and Regional Jails –
There have been increased concerns about COVID-19 spread in confined populations. State has suspended all in-person visits or inmate transfers. Reducing interactions within facilities to protect inmates and employees. State is working within the criminal justice system and issuing guidance to encouraging the use of a summons instead of a custodial arrest. Asking magistrates and judges to find alternatives to incarceration (ex. Release on personal recognizance and bond) as well as modified sentences for low level offenders (ex. home electronic monitoring).

Aid for the unemployed/under employed –
Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) has received 10k unemployment claims to date. Several changes announced earlier in the week. All information available online.

Small Business Loans –
Yesterday Virginia applied for relief via loans from the Small Business Administration. Today Virginia received approval. Will be pushing out information to the business community ASAP.

Tax Payments Due –
Tomorrow, Retail payments are due. State is going to provide tax relief by:
1. Dept of Tax will consider requests for extension of the Feb 20 sales tax return until April 20. Will be given liberal ability to review and approve. ($145 million dollar hit to the state budget) They will have to charge interest as they don’t have the authority to waive interest.
2. Extension of the due dates for individual and corporate income tax returns. Returns are still due by May 1 due but payment date extended until June 1. (State fiscal impact of $100 million) State will not charge a late payment penalty but interest will accrue.
3. During the reconvened Session, Administration is going to work with the General Assembly to come up with a way to alleviate the interest related issues.

State Police –
State will not enforce motor vehicle inspections for the next 60 days.

Reconvened Session in April –
Depending on the status of the outbreak, the Governor will look at options for the Reconvened Session as well as how to allow Board and Commission meetings continue safely. The Pocahontas Building has been disinfected.

Long Term Care Facilities –
There has been a second case in a long term care facility. State response has been to send in infection control and epidemiology teams. The teams working with the facility to help them properly clean, isolate, and quarantine.

Closings –
Consideration of any additional closings or extensions of existing closings (ex. Schools) will be done on a day by day basis.

Employers/Employees –
State is sharing information on best health practices. Trying to give out as much information as possible on how to stay safe.


March 19, 2020

H.R. 6201 As Modified, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
**Signed Into Law**

The follow is an update on the newly signed Federal legislation and the forthcoming Federal Stimulus Package.

Here is a final summary of the Federal bill signed into law yesterday. It includes details on Emergency FMLA, Emergency Paid Sick Leave, other Health Provisions, Tax Credits for Paid Sick and Paid Family Leave, Nutrition Assistance, and Emergency Unemployment Insurance Access,

Additionally, here is some information on the forthcoming stimulus bill:

    The Treasury Department released the details of its “Stage Three Proposal,” calling for an additional $1 trillion in appropriations for the following specified uses:

  • $50 billion for secured lending to U.S. passenger and cargo air carriers;
  • $150 billion for secured lending or loan guarantees for “other critical sectors of the U.S. economy experiencing severe financial distress” caused by the outbreak;
  • $500 billion for two identical rounds of direct payments to individual taxpayers, with amounts fixed and tiered based on income level and family size. The first $250 billion would be issued beginning April 6, and the second beginning May 18.
  • $300 billion for the creation and administration of a small business interruption loan program. Employers with 500 employees or less would be eligible to borrow amounts equal to 100% of 6 weeks of payroll (capped at $1540 per week per employee).

The Treasury proposal also provides for the temporary use of the Exchange Stabilization Fund to establish new guarantee programs for the U.S. money market mutual fund industry. The authority to establish new MMMF guarantee programs would terminate with the conclusion of the National Emergency that President Trump declared last Friday.

While Mitch McConnell has pledged to move on the stimulus package at “warp speed,” we continue to believe that it will be a matter of weeks rather than days before Congress can pass such a bill, and even longer before the executive branch can operationalize it. Some Senate Republicans have publicly pushed for a bill this week, but Senate Majority Whip John Thune acknowledged today that “by the time you get into negotiations with Democrats, it pushes through the weekend.” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) similarly downplayed the prospects of swift passage, saying that “haste does make waste,” noting that the bill the House passed in the early hours of Saturday morning “wasn’t ready for prime time.”

Moreover, the House and Senate will ultimately have to agree on legislation to send to President Trump. The House is currently in recess with no plans to return – Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has told his caucus to expect an update on this situation tomorrow.

We will continue to keep you updated!

March 19, 2020

Dear VFDA Member:

I participated in a conference call with the NFDA earlier this week, where the initial information the NFDA had about the funeral home webcasting license it offers covering ASCAP, BMI and SESAC seemed to indicate that livestreaming funeral services containing copyrighted music was only permitted through the websites of the funeral homes holding a webcasting license.

However, on March 18, NFDA was able to confirm that NFDA webcasting license does allow performance of ASCAP, BMI and SESAC copyrighted music on Facebook and YouTube as would occur during funeral services.

If you do not currently have a NFDA funeral webcasting license, click here for more information and to purchase one.

Please note: In some cases, Facebook or YouTube may take videos down or stop a live stream because they are unaware the funeral home has the appropriate webcasting license and is permitted to stream funeral services with copyrighted music.

If you hold a webcasting license and find your streams or videos are being blocked or taken down, please take a photo or capture a screenshot of the notification you receive stating your videos or live feeds are being blocked/taken down. Send this photo or screen shot to NFDA (nfda@nfda.org) and the issue will be directly addressed with Facebook and/or YouTube.

NFDA General Counsel Scott Gilligan is reaching out to Facebook and YouTube to proactively address this issue of blocking or removing streams and videos. We ask funeral homes’ patience as we work as swiftly as we can to put this issue to rest.

NFDA is also working to update the webcast license receipt to include language stating that the license permits performances of copyrighted music licensed by ASCAP, BMI and SESAC on Facebook and YouTube.

NFDA offers sample legal forms (the following links will download MS Word docs) that give authorization for funeral homes to webcast funeral services and direction to record funeral services.

If we can be of any support or assistance during this pandemic, please do not hesitate to ask. Stay safe and healthy!

Lacy Whittaker
VFDA, Executive Director


March 18, 2020

Federated_Insurance_Resource

 


March 18, 2020

CDC_Guidance_for_Certifying_COVID-19_Deaths

 


March 17, 2020

Good Evening Members:

It seems that our world has spiraled into a complete and total frenzy over COVID-19. We all have so many questions unanswered at this point that even the brightest medical minds have yet to answer. The VFDA is certainly amongst those with many questions. Over the course of the past 48 hours, Lacy has sent several emails to the membership regarding this ever evolving madness. Some, as always, are diligent in opening and reading these communications, others are not. We want to make sure the word is spread as far and as wide as possible.

After today’s lunchtime announcement by the President of the United States, on the recommendation of the CDC, the Federal Government is recommending gatherings of no more than TEN (10) people. As such, the Governor of Virginia has followed suit. It is the recommendation of the VFDA that you as Funeral Homes, Managers, and Funeral Service Licensees, follow this ruling. Ultimately, you and the families you serve are put at risk when we choose not to follow strict instructions by our leaders in both government and the medical fields. Most often, for example, those who attend funerals are 65 and over and fall in the highest risk category for this virus. I would recommend that we take that into great consideration.

It has come to my attention that several funeral homes across the state, both corporate and independent are following this model. For the time being, funeral homes are offering to conduct private graveside services, and schedule memorial services at a later date. This is probably the safest bet for the families we serve. No one wants to create an environment that leads to trouble later. Most families I believe will respect this. This also applies to visitations at the funeral home. Anytime a large gathering such as this occurs, we are susceptible to passing illnesses along. Just look at the common cold or Flu virus. However, ultimately the decision rests in that of the owner and/or manager. If in your best judgement, you feel as if you will lose the chance to serve a family over this decision, go with what feels right for you and your business.

Quite often, funeral professionals are put into less than desirable situations. Most of which are not of our own doing. This is another one of those times. That being said, this is very important, now more than ever to take a position of strength in this matter. We must be ever mindful of the decisions of our Government Leaders and protect not only our staff members, but the families we serve.

So again, it is the recommendation of the VFDA that you observe the TEN (10) people or less ruling, but if in your best judgement you feel otherwise, that is up to you and your owner and manager. If you have any further questions, you can reach out to me, or Lacy and we will be happy to speak further on this matter.

Thanks,
Jay McIntyre, CFSP

VFDA First Vice President
VFDA Legislative Committee Chair
Shenandoah Valley FDA Secretary
Licensed Funeral Director, McMullen Funeral Home


March 15, 2020

Dear VFDA Members:

While the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still evolving, we anticipate that members may have questions. We encourage you to continue serving families and protecting your staff while taking precautionary measures. The following are suggestions for making your families and staff safe and healthy during this time:

  • Upon arrivals and departures, continually sanitize high-touch items such as entrance/exit doors, check-in areas, counters, pens, keypads, computers, etc.
  • Ensure your families that visitation rooms are thoroughly cleaned with extra attention to light switches, doorknobs, locks, desk surfaces, telephones, televisions, remotes and publications like brochures and magazines.
  • Add additional hand sanitizer stations, implement additional sanitation practices when handling food and beverages.
  • Ask families to ask visitors to stay home if they are sick, offer remote access to the funeral service.
  • Offer graveside services to ease the stress and uncertainty for families and guests.

These are just a few suggestions.

The Virginia Funeral Directors Association (VFDA) continues to follow the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health departments to stay up-to-date on the latest information. We will continue to pass on information as it becomes available.

Please feel free to contact the VFDA Office if you have any questions (804) 264-0505 or e-mail at info@vfda.net. We appreciate our members and hope you will reach out to the VFDA if there is anything we can do to help your funeral home during this time of uncertainty.

Sincerely,

Lacy Whittaker
Executive Director


March 12, 2020

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) is reaching out due to the questions and inquiries regarding appropriate precautions with handling decedents who are suspected of or have confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19).

The CDC provides guidance specifically for funeral home industries, which can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#funerals

Printout of CDC Guidance for Funeral Homes

The OCME is following universal precautions and requiring N95 masks to be worn by OCME staff when handling all decedents, regardless of confirmed COVID-19. It is up to your office or organization to the extent of PPE that is required when handling remains. If you transport to the OCME or pick up a decedent from the OCME, please ensure that you are following your organization’s policy on appropriate personal protective equipment. The OCME does not have personal protective equipment (N95 masks) that is available for your office or organization due to financial constraints.

Would you be able to assist the OCME with distributing this information throughout your organization? This memo includes the same text within this email that can be distributed to the appropriate persons within your organization.

If you should have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Keshia Singleton at 804.786.3174 or keshia.singleton@vdh.virginia.gov.

Keshia Singleton
State Project Manager
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner


February 27, 2020

CDC Issues Postmortem Coronavirus Guidance

NFDA has just received a document from the CDC outlining guidance for handling individuals who have died or are suspected to have died from COVID-19 (coronavirus).

While the guidance focuses on collecting specimens and conducting autopsies for PUI, the CDC notes, “The guidance can be utilized by medical examiners, coroners, pathologists, [and] other workers involved in postmortem care.” (PUI refers to persons under investigation for coronavirus.)

Any funeral home staff coming in contact with a decedent with confirmed or suspected coronavirus will want to pay particular attention to the section titled “Autopsy Procedures,” which would most closely apply to embalming. This section includes guidance on safe work practices, engineering controls and PPE usage.

Funeral directors will also want to review the section “Cleaning and Waste Disposal Recommendations” for guidance on how to properly clean and disinfect their embalming room and instruments.

This guidance also contains contact information for the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The staff at the EOC is best equipped to answer questions about how funeral homes can safely care for an individual with confirmed or suspected coronavirus.

As part of NFDA’s ongoing commitment to you and our active involvement in federal mass-fatality management, we have been actively monitoring the situation surrounding the coronavirus. We have been receiving ongoing updates about the risk posed by this virus from Centers for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services, the White House and others. We have been asking for guidance like this from the very beginning and are pleased to finally be able to share it with you.

CDC Coronavirus Information Page
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December 19, 2019

2019 NFDA General Price List Study Shows Funeral Costs Not Rising As Fast As Rate of Inflation

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) released the results of its latest Member General Price List Study, which shows that the median cost of a funeral has increased 6.4% over the past five years to $7,640 and the median cost of a funeral with cremation has increased 7.3% over the past five years to $5,150. The report further notes the overall rate of inflation has increased 8.4% over the same time period. The Member General Price List Study is available to NFDA members at no cost.

View median costs, regional differences, and survey methodology

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November 18, 2019

Expeditionary Warfare School of Marine Corps University Donates 100 Urns to VFDA for Indigent Veterans in Virginia

HANOVER, Virginia – The Virginia Funeral Directors Association (VFDA) has received 100 urns to be freely given to funeral homes in Virginia as needed for giving our indigent veterans an appropriate eternal resting place.

This gift comes from the men and women of the Expeditionary Warfare School of Marine Corps University on Marine Corps Base Quantico, who participate in enrichment programs in a variety of areas ranging from martial arts, marital communication, philosophy, and woodworking during their time on base.

“When we learned that indigent veterans in the United States were cremated and buried in a cardboard box, we thought we could do better and that our brothers and sisters in arms deserved better,” said Todd Holm, PhD, Instructional System Instructor at the Expeditionary Warfare School at the Marine Corps University.

Leading the woodworking group, Holms oversaw the building of the urns, which occurred on weekends and during evening sessions, and included salvaging the wood, preparing it for construction, and ultimately assembling the finished urns. Each one is engraved with the phrase “Patriam Meam Militavi,” loosely translated in English to mean “I served my country.”

“Over the course of the project roughly 30 people were involved in building the urns,” Holm said. “The people involved not only included officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, but also included international officers attending EWS as part of the Joint Forces. It was a very meaningful project for everyone involved.”

To request one or multiple urns, contact the VFDA at info@vfda.net with the name of your funeral home, address and phone number.

Additionally, Richards-Wilbert will provide engraving at no charge on these urns at its Verona location at 13 Skyview Circle, Verona, Virginia 24482. Contact Todd Dean by phone at 540-761-5717 or email todd@richardswilbert.com if you would like more information on this engraving service.

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November 13, 2019

Start preparing to revise your payroll and related accounting practices as the Department of Labor (DOL) has just made final the revisions to its rule regarding exemptions from the overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative and professionals. This new rule will become effective January 1, 2020!

*Note: The Department of Labor revised the regulations located at 29 C.F.R. part 541 with an effective date of January 1, 2020. WHD will continue to enforce the 2004 part 541 regulations through December 31, 2019, including the $455 per week standard salary level and $100,000 annual compensation level for Highly Compensated Employees. View the final rule.

Fact Sheet #17A: Exemption for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer & Outside Sales Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
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September 18, 2019
Cremation Authorization Requirements for Out-of-State Donor Programs

out_of_state_donors

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 1, 2019

Contact: Lacy Whittaker
Virginia Funeral Directors Association
(804) 264-0505
lwhittaker@vfda.net
Virginia Funeral Directors Association Elects Jerry Andrews (Andrews Funeral Home and Crematory) President

Richmond, Va. – The Virginia Funeral Directors Association (VFDA) welcomes the 2019-20 Board of Directors. The association held its 131st Convention in Virginia Beach, Virginia, June 16-19, 2019. The Association’s Inaugural Banquet and installation of officers took place on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, where the association introduced the new board members.

The 2019-20 President of the Virginia Funeral Directors Association is Gerald “Jerry” Andrews. Andrews is owner of Andrews Funeral Home and Crematory in Gloucester, VA. Jerry is a second-generation funeral director having grown up in the funeral business. He served his training with E. Alvin Small Funeral Home in Colonial Heights, Virginia, while attending mortuary school at John Tyler Community College. He worked for the Lawrence B. Wood Funeral Home from 1977 until 1993 when he left to join his parents and became manager of the family business. He is past president of the Tidewater Funeral Directors Association and is very active in his church and many local civic organizations.

The 2019-20 Virginia Funeral Directors Association Board Members:

Gerald L. “Jerry” Andrews, President, Andrews Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., Gloucester, Va.
Marty White, President-Elect, Stover Funeral Home, Strasburg, Va.
Jay McIntyre, First Vice President, McMullen Funeral Home, Harrisonburg, Va.
Bobby Gardner, Jr., Second Vice President, Gardner Funeral Home, Floyd Virginia
Larry Spiaggi, CFSP, CCO, CPC President, Morrissett Funeral & Cremation Service, N. Chesterfield, Va.
Leslie “Les” Powell, III, Secretary-Treasurer, Powell Funeral Home, Inc., South Boston, Va.
Paul Hazelgrove, 2 year At-Large Director, SCI – Richmond/Virginia Beach, Va.
Brian Horne, 2 year At-Large Director, Horne Funeral Service, Inc., Christiansburg, Va.
Clint Oxendine, 2 year At-Large Director, Mountcastle-Turch Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., Dale City, Va.
John Saville, Heritage Funeral Service & Crematory
Russ Teffner, Blue Ridge District, John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home and Crematory, Salem, Va.
Larry Corey, Central District, Morrissett Funeral & Cremation Service, N. Chesterfield, Va.
Gary Maxwell, Northern District, Mountcastle-Turch Funeral Home, Annandale, Va.
Daniel Chapman, Shenandoah District, Johnson Funeral Service, Inc., Grottoes, Va.
Larry Joines, Southside District, Bassett Funeral Service, Bassett, Va.
Matthew “Matt” Perry, Southwest District, Frost Funeral Home, Abingdon, Va.
Douglas Parr, Tidewater District, Parr Funeral Home & Crematory, Suffolk, Va.
Todd Dean, Virginia Funeral Supply Association, Richards-Wilbert, Inc., Staunton, Va.
Haile L. “Butch” Gatewood, Jr., NFDA Policy Board Representative, Norris Funeral Service & Crematory, Inc., Martinsville, Va

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ASD Releases ASD Mobile 4 with Powerful New MobileFH™ Texting Solution

Directors Will Now Be Able to Send and Receive Text Messages Using Their Funeral Home’s Main Business Phone Number

Media, PA— ASD – Answering Service for Directors announced today the release of the company’s ASD Mobile 4 app to the Apple App Store and the official launch of an exclusive texting solution for on-call funeral directors. MobileFH™ Texting allows ASD clients to send and receive text messages using the funeral home’s main business number as the sending number. This innovative technology empowers funeral professionals to be responsive to families without sacrificing their privacy.

ASD’s Technical Team created MobileFH™ Texting specifically to support on-call funeral directors by helping to facilitate mobile communications. The feature works by connecting the funeral home’s office number to ASD. MobileFH™ Texting ensures families and contacts are using the right phone number when sending sensitive information to the funeral home via text message. It also provides on-call funeral directors more freedom to conduct business on the go without giving out their personal cell phone numbers. Funeral home owners and managers can easily review their staff message exchanges with families as all text messages, photos and important documents are stored safely within the ASD Mobile app.

“I have been one of the lucky funeral homes to sign up for the beta testing for MobileFH™ Texting. The day I downloaded the new app on my smartphone, I used it and loved it!” says Funeral Director, Robert Acevez of Acevez Funeral Home in East Chicago, IN. “A first call, at need family was price shopping and I was able to send her prices with the secure name of my funeral home. Not only did it legitimize my response, but it put this family at ease by professionalizing our business. I am a small volume funeral home and new owner in a very traditional community, therefore I often forward my funeral home calls to my cell phone. The ability to text families while away from the office is priceless. Thank you ASD for this progressive thinking and convenient feature.”

By allowing funeral professionals to use their funeral home’s number to communicate via text message, ASD is resolving a whole host of on-call issues that have caused funeral directors countless headaches in the past.

MobileFH™ Texting: 7 Solutions in One Tool

1) Offers on-call directors added privacy and better protection for their cell phone number.
2) Allows every director to easily retrieve photos and attachments from families and other contacts.
3) Prevents directors from having to respond to text messages on their day off, which helps alleviate staff burn out.
4) Provides a record of the conversation and a general location for all texts – keeping everyone on the same page.
5) Enhances office organization and streamlines tasks by making important communications easier to find and retrieve.
6) Gives owners and managers added oversight to monitor staff’s text messages with funeral home contacts.
7) Ensures a family does not text a funeral director who is no longer working at the funeral home.

MobileFH™ Texting is an extension of ASD’s MobileFH™ feature, which enables ASD clients to call any phone number from their cell phone and display the funeral home business phone as their outgoing Caller ID. By introducing this patented, unrivaled technology to text messaging, ASD is making it even easier for on-call funeral directors to be responsive to families without sacrificing their privacy.

“When cellular technology was first introduced, it provided directors with more freedom than they had ever enjoyed in the past, but it also introduced a new host of on-call dilemmas. It’s no wonder so many funeral professionals struggle with compassion fatigue and burn out; it’s pretty difficult to separate your personal life from your professional life when you’re receiving text messages from families on your night off,” says ASD’s Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor. “We analyzed this problem and developed a solution specifically to help on-call funeral directors while improving the funeral home’s overall communication. MobileFH™ Texting is truly a win-win-win for everyone!”

In December, ASD sent out a prerelease invitation to the company’s beta testing program. More than 100 funeral homes worked closely with ASD’s in-house technical team to provide feedback and their firsthand accounts of using the feature. This process helped ASD to ensure MobileFH™ Texting meets the needs of funeral directors and is compatible with all devices. ASD Clients can access the feature by updating their ASD Mobile app through the Apple App Store. An Android-compatible version is currently being developed and will be released in the coming months.

About ASD

ASD – Answering Service for Directors has created a new class of answering service for the funeral profession. Family owned and operated since 1972, ASD blends state-of-the-art technology with an extensive, 6-month training program focusing on compassionate care. The company’s custom-built communication systems and sophisticated mobile tools were designed solely to meet the needs of funeral professionals. By offering funeral directors unmatched protection for their calls, ASD has redefined the role of an answering service for funeral homes. For more information, visit www.myASD.com or call 1-800-868-9950.

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Temporary realignment of OCME districts

Read More: https://www.vfda.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/redistrict_notice.pdf

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the following statistics on the rising cost of dying, 1986–2017

https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/the-rising-cost-of-dying-1986-2017.htm