COVID-19 Alerts - National Cemetery Administration
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National Cemetery Administration

 

COVID-19 Alerts


All Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries remain open and continue to provide interment services for Veterans and eligible dependents during this health crisis.

VA national cemeteries have adapted operational procedures throughout the pandemic to prevent the spread of coronavirus based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

Effective immediately: The CDC issued new guidance requiring all individuals to wear a mask indoors in areas where the transmission rate is High or Substantial, regardless of vaccination status.

In accordance with this guidance, signage will be posted at each public entrance at VA national cemeteries if face masks are required in the cemetery's indoor facilities. All employees and visitors, vaccinated or not, must wear masks in Federal buildings and indoor spaces if so directed.

The CDC states the most effective protection from contracting COVID-19 is to be fully vaccinated. Wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, using hand sanitizer or washing hands, and staying home when ill are steps everyone can take to promote the health and safety of all employees and visitors.

Military funeral honors, customarily provided by the Department of Defense and volunteer honor guards, will be based on local availability. Funeral home directors are encouraged to contact military funeral honors providers to determine services and availability.

Families are not required to conduct a committal service. They may continue to choose direct interment and opt for a memorial service at a later date, when all restrictions have been lifted.

Memorial services for Veterans and eligible family members who were interred without a committal service between March and June 2020 are now being scheduled and conducted. Families may contact the national cemetery directly to schedule a memorial service. The NCSO will continue to provide scheduling services for the duration of the current emergency. To schedule a burial, please call 800-535-1117, option 1.

Every Veteran interred in a VA National Cemetery is automatically memorialized with individual profile pages on the Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) site after the cemetery updates the Veteran's interment record, usually within one or two days of interment. In May 2020, VLM was expanded to allow online visitors to leave comments or "tributes" on a Veteran's page. The tribute allows visitors to voice memories and appreciation for a Veteran's service.

In May 2021, NCA implemented more interactive features for VLM including the ability for users to upload images and documents, and share military service timeline and achievements, biographical information, and more. Additionally, VLM users can now "Follow a Veteran" to receive email alerts when new content is added to that Veteran's page.

If you still feel more comfortable remembering your Veteran virtually we invite all friends and family members with a Veteran interred in a VA national cemetery to visit VLM at www.va.gov/remember. All items contributed to profiles are reviewed for appropriateness prior to being posted.

Future updates will be provided, as required, in response to changing conditions and public health guidance.

Updates on the operating status of individual national cemeteries are posted below on this page and on our social media pages:
> https://www.facebook.com/NationalCemeteries
> https://twitter.com/VANatCemeteries

For more information about the government's response to COVID-19 please visit:
> https://www.coronavirus.gov

FEMA is offering a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance reimbursement program. For more information please visit: FEMA FAQ.

Status of Individual VA National Cemeteries


> Fort Richardson National Cemetery

All visitors are welcome to Ft. Richardson National Cemetery. The Trusted Traveler Program is still suspended so unless you have a DoD Identification card, you must get a Day Pass to access the Installation. The Day Pass will be good for three (3) hours only to visit during the cemetery's posted visiting hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Weekends and Federal Holidays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Please get your Day Pass at the Boniface Gate and use it at the Ft. Richardson Gate to access the cemetery.​ (12/13/2021)​


> Nashville National Cemetery

The Nashville National Cemetery is open with some limited accessibility. The storm that came through Saturday morning (12/11/2021) did cause some tree damage to certain sections. NCA clean-up has begun and will continue until completed. (12/13/2021)


> Rock Island National Cemetery

The Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) Garrison Commander has declared a Public Health Emergency and directed Health Protection Condition (HPCON) to CHARLIE effective immediately and for the foreseeable future. HPCON CHARLIE is defined as an elevated risk of sustained community transmission. Mission essential travel is in effect at RIA, and the Visitor Control Center has modified hours Monday-Friday. Rock Island National Cemetery, which is located on RIA, is open to visitors who obtain a visitor pass of up to 30 days. All visitors must use the Moline Gate and obtain a visitor pass. Committal Services consisting of 25 or fewer family members and Military Honors are available per NCA/RIA COVID-19 guidelines.​ (12/13/2021)