On April 9, 2020 Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order designed to provide much-needed support to the state's funeral services professionals. In his press briefing earlier, he said:

“And don't underestimate this virus. I think that is a mistake we made from day one. We is the collective we, we is the global community. This virus is very, very good at what it does. We lost more lives yesterday than we have to date. We understand, and all the experts have said, Dr. Fauci said from day one to me, you will see the deaths increasing after the hospitalizations because the deaths increase the longer a person is in the hospital, the longer a person is on the ventilator. I understand the scientific concept. I understand the data. But you're talking about 799 lives. The highest number ever. It's gotten to the point, frankly, that we're going to bring in additional funeral directors to deal with the number of people who have passed. If you ever told me that as governor I would have to take these actions, I couldn't even contemplate where we are now.”

Generally speaking the order allows out of state funeral directors and ‘deputized’ personnel (non-licensees) to assist NY licensed funeral directors. It also allows you to use crematories other than those listed on the permit on authorization form without obtaining new paperwork. Specifically the order states:

  • funeral directors licensed and in good standing in any state or territory of the United States to practice as a funeral director in New York State upon the approval of, and pursuant to such conditions as may be imposed by, the Commissioner of Health
  • a funeral director licensed in New York State, but not registered in New York State, to practice in New York State upon the approval of, and pursuant to such conditions as may be imposed by, the Commissioner of Health
  • persons deputized by the Commissioner of Health to be agents authorized by a funeral director or undertaker to be present and personally supervise and arrange for removal or transfer of each dead human body.
  • the State Registrar to register death certificates and issue burial and removal permits, upon the request of a local registrar and upon approval of the Commissioner of Health

Click here for guidance from the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Funeral Directing (04.12.2020)

We thank Governor Cuomo, the NYS Division of Cemeteries, and the Bureau of Funeral Directing for working with us and making this happen.