COVID-19 Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Why is Gate of Heaven Cemetery being closed to visitors and not burials?

A.  Gate of Heaven Cemetery is being closed to all visitors to protect the health and safety of our employees, families and visitors. The New York State Department of Health has advised the New York State Funeral Directors Association that visitation and funeral services are considered non-essential gatherings. We are taking proactive steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, as many of the cemetery’s memorials and visitor spaces do not allow for the recommended social distancing that is called for by medical guidelines. Families have been waiting patiently to bury their loved ones and we are continuing to accommodate this critical mission under current conditions.

Q.  Whose burials does this change affect?

A.  Burials are taking place Monday to Saturday during normal business hours. The funeral director and 4 other family members are permitted to wait in their car while a service is taking place. (We have generally said the funeral director and four family members may accompany the clergy officiant to the gravesite or entrance to the mausoleum for the Rite of Committal.)

Q.  Have there been any changes to the process of scheduling a burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery?

A.  No. Funeral homes or families who are looking to initiate a burial, entombment or inurnment should call Gate of Heaven at (914) 769-3672 to begin the scheduling process.

Q.  When will Gate of Heaven reopen to the public, and how will the public be informed?

A.  Gate of Heaven Cemetery will continue to assess the situation and will keep the public informed as we adapt our policies and procedures to the changing conditions. We will regularly reflect all status changes via an updated banner on this website and other social media platforms. We encourage anyone who hopes to visit Gate of Heaven Cemetery to continue checking this website for the most up-to-date information.

Q.  How many cemetery caretakers/cemetery representatives are still onsite working?  Are they taking any additional precautions?

A.  Gate of Heaven Cemetery has 20 cemetery caretakers and representatives working every day to ensure that our deceased are laid to rest with the dignified rites that are a cherished tradition at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.  Where appropriate, we are also maximizing the use of telework for our office staff. Our entire team is following both New York State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Q.  Are staff at Gate of Heaven Cemetery wearing face coverings?

A.  In accordance with the Executive Order issued by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 15, Gate of Heaven Cemetery is following all State guidelines and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to protect the cemetery’s families, visitors and employees as we continue to perform essential burial services. Gate of Heaven Cemetery requires employees (and highly encourages all burial attendees) to wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance.