I knew I had seen articles on this. Just went looking around and got some of what I had seen.
First thing is that when you are talking funeral homes, you need to account for how many deceased are being embalmed, just put into the coffin w/o or being cremated… Trends had been moving towards a higher rate of cremations than a few decades ago before the virus, the combination of no traditional viewings and in some areas overwhelmed funeral homes has pushed that higher…
The risks that are being talked about are significantly higher for embalming than either of the other two. Quote from an article I found. "… At the funeral home, with bodies that require embalming, directors have to grapple with new risks. “You can have discharge from the lungs when you move the body,” says Kearns. Moisture coming up through the airway is one possibility. Another is a purge that, according to a Funeral Service Academy handbook, looks like coffee grounds seeping up from the lungs or stomach, trickling out through the mouth and nose. It’s typically brown, but when it comes from the lungs, it can take on a frothy consistency with a copper tint. In either case, the threat of infection is more than hypothetical, as researchers in Thailand recently reported the first COVID-19 transmission from a dead to living host.
To mitigate the risk, the staff is following precautionary protocols established to prevent the spread of tuberculosis. They’re wearing N95 masks, plus Tyvek suits or aprons. Manufactured by DuPont, Tyvek is made from high-density polyethylene filaments that block out microbes and resist abrasion…"
Quote above from https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a32239323/inside-nyc-funeral-home-during-coronavirus/
If no embalming, there is less actual handling of the deceased and procedures are cautious but less fussy. Cremation usually requires transport to somewhere other than the funeral home and in this story it is a location three hours away. But that is likely just a factor of this story being about a funeral home in NYC. Most areas are probably like my own, the only thing that might limit crematorium access is scheduling a formal service around it.
The other thing to throw in here is that, once a deceased arrives at the funeral home, they are being handled in a room that is being disinfected at least daily and certain surfaces multiple times a day. That is normally the case, the effect of the virus has just been to increase the frequency and scope of disinfecting.
My takeaway from this is that there are reasons to be concerned about contact if you find yourself handling an emergency. But in the context of paddling, that is most likely to happen with someone who has already taken a swim so maybe avoid breathing close with them. Last I knew CPR recommendations had all switched over to using sequences of 30 (or similar) pumps on the chest, and away from mixing in mouth to mouth cycles. So if anyone has newer training that issue is resolved.
If this thing was going to be over by the end of summer we might avoid thinking about all these details. But until a vaccine these restrictions are likely to remain. California State just announced that its entire fall semester would open online only and I know of a smaller area college actively thinking about the same. My town/gown orchestras along with regional ones are beginning to think a relaunch in 2021, those that can survive that long, because wind and brass players can’t perform with masks on even if an audience at 50% capacity would pay the cost of the performance. Canada and the US just added time to the restriction of travel between the two and it likely won’t be the first extension.