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Funeral risks and respiratory viruses

After taking into account the virological evolution of SARS-CoV-2, the epidemiological situation of Covid-19, its now well-known modes of transmission and the human, ethical and legal aspects in the field of mourning, the HCSP recommends no longer maintaining the special provisions for SARS-CoV-2 for funeral rites and practices on the body of a person who has died of suspected or confirmed Covid-19. This is because SARS-CoV-2 is no longer considered to be an emerging virus and does not present a higher infectious risk than other respiratory viruses.

However, the HCSP recommends that universal hygiene precautions and individual and collective protective measures (personal protective equipment, etc.) be observed when caring for a deceased person. The HCSP recommends that healthcare and funeral service personnel be trained and kept informed of developments in the epidemiological situation of Covid-19. The HCSP also recommends complying with its 2012 opinion regarding thanatopraxy as for any other viral respiratory pathology.

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