NYSFDA's first and most important priority is the health and safety of our members, your staff and the families you serve, and the well-being of our employees. As we're dealing with COVID-19 (coronavirus), here is some helpful information.

Proactive health and hygiene practices are a must. Proper hand washing, minimal contact, respiratory etiquette and staying home when sick is important in reducing the spread of the virus. We encourage all funeral service professionals to follow Standard Precautions and use proper PPE when handling decedents.

NEW! UnPAUSING NY (as of 05.26.2020)

Guidance for religious and funeral services has been posted on the NY Forward website under the Statewide Guidance sectionThese are the requirements moving forward. The issuance of the guidelines creates a few required action items:

For highlights regarding these new guildelines, click here.

NEW! Downloadable Health Guidelines (Protect Yourself) Poster from NYS DOH 

NEW! Employee Screening Questionnaire

NYSFDA Resources

New York State Resources

Effective May 28, 2020: Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo today issued an Executive Order authorizing businesses to deny entry to individuals who do not wear masks or face-coverings. The Executive Order builds on the state's ongoing efforts to protect New Yorkers and slow the spread.

The announcement came during the Governor's daily briefing when he stated, "Today, I'm signing an Executive Order that authorizes private businesses to deny entrance to people who do not wear a mask or a face covering. I have been working to communicate this message about masks and how effective they are. They are deceptively effective. They are amazingly effective. We've made them mandatory in public settings, public transportation, et cetera. When we're talking about reopening stores and places of business, we're giving the store owners the right to say if you're not wearing a mask, you can't come in."

As phased reopening continues to progress across the state, this executive order provides further clarity for funeral directors when working with families.

April 12, 2020: Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order mandating all essential businesses require employees to wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. In addition, employers must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law. This requirement will go into effect April 15, 2020.

April 9, 2020: Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order designed to provide much-needed support to the state's funeral services professionals.

March 27, 2020: Governor Governor Releases Executive Order Allowing Electronic Signatures
This Executive Order suspends the need for a "wet signature" on documents and forms authorizing or accepting funeral services. Click here for read the full Executive Order (section specific to funerals is Section 307(1) - last bullet).

NYS Governor Cuomo's Executive Order - specifically regarding notaries: As part of the Governor’s efforts to keep essential business activity flowing, he issues a revised approach to obtaining notary signatures where required. The excerpt of the executive order outlining the temporary, revised can be found here(03.20.2020)

Downstate Resources

Effective Tuesday, May 5, 2020 and all subsequent Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am-4pm, the New York County Notary section located at 60 Centre Street will be open ONLY for the authentication of death certificates. No other business will be processed by the Notary office.

Federal Government Recommendations

Department of Veteran Affairs 

Effective April 15, 2020, to ensure social distancing at the cemetery, witnessing family members will now be asked to view the interment from their cars or the road very near their cars. Families may visit the grave site in the days following the interment consistent with CDC guidelines and local travel restrictions. Click here for more information.

As warranted, the NCA will provide updates on the operating status of individual national cemeteries on its social media pages: Facebook and Twitter.


For archived information relating to the COVID-19 public health emergency, click here.

Please share information with NYSFDA & your peers. To submit information for consideration, please eail info@nysfda.org. As additional information directly relating to the funeral services industry becomes available we will be sure to share it with our members.