Frequently Asked Questions: Funeral and Burial Services for American Indians and Alaska Natives

If washing the body, shrouding, or other important religious or cultural practices are observed in a specific tribal community, families are encouraged to consider this guidance and work with their cultural and religious leaders and funeral home staff on how to reduce their exposure as much as possible.

If you participate in these activities, wear disposable gloves (nitrile, latex, or rubber). And you may need additional equipment (called personal protective equipment, or PPE). For example, you may need the following:

  • Disposable, waterproof isolation gown
  • Face shield or goggles
  • Facemask

Following preparation of the body remove PPE and throw away. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Shower after completing body preparation activities. If you did not wear any personal protective equipment while preparing the body, wash your clothes in the warmest setting possible and dry them completely.

For more information see CDC resources on Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility or Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home.

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