What should loved ones know about handling belongings and the body of someone who died from COVID-19?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread from close contact (i.e., within about 6 feet) with a person who is infected with the virus. The virus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
This type of spread is not a concern after death. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. If the deceased person had confirmed or suspected COVID-19, avoid kissing, washing, or shrouding the body before, during, and after the body has been prepared, if possible. For more information on recommended precautions while handling the belongings and the body of someone who died from COVID-19, see Funeral Guidance.
See also: Spread and transmission