The Hunter's funeral industry has introduced strict new social distancing guidelines in an effort to allow mourners to grieve safely.
Several Hunter funeral businesses have placed limits on the number of mourners who can attend funerals and are encouraging others to utilise live streaming services.
"From next week we will try and limit the number of mourners at services to between 20 and 30," Managing Director of Pettigrew Family Funerals Joel Pettigrew said.
"It has been a bit difficult for some people but we are doing our best to help people to still express their grief but at the same time remain safe."
A spokeswoman for Sandgate Cemetery said the cemetery continued to operate normally but the social distancing principles that were in effect elsewhere also applied for mourners.
Chief executive of OneRoom funeral streaming service David Lutterman said there had been a spike in interest for live streaming in Australia in recent weeks.
Related to this issue: Virtual funerals live streaming services in Newcastle and the Hunter
"I did a measurement, week-on-week, from before we saw the virus really take hold - and our social reaction to it - and then weeks after and we definitely saw a spike of about 60 per cent more people online connecting to our services," he said.
"And it is kind of on both sides. There is just a lot more people on the viewer side, and on the uptake side. The good news is that Australia and New Zealand are really well covered for webcasting. And this is the benefit of just being ahead of the curve, which is not the US, who is behind the curve."
"We are in a situation down here - you have funeral homes all over Australia and we are in every major centre in quite an extensive way and we're pushing out into the regions."
Like medical professionals, funeral industry workers were required to turn up to work in good times and bad.
"There are some processes that they have to go through just to make sure that they're not going to be exposed, but they're there to serve the families just like medical professionals, really," Mr Lutterman said.
"What we don't know is what this is going to look like in terms of the families going to places like funeral homes to conduct their services, or if they're going to stop doing that and try to do things like a direct cremation and hold services, or viewings at home."
The Australian funeral industry's peak body has forecast a 78 per cent increase in deaths and warned corpses could accumulate in the wake of COVID-19.
A shortage of personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser may also mean funeral directors would have to reject bodies for funeral services if new stocks weren't available within a week.
In a letter sent to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on Wednesday, the Australian Funeral Directors Association national president Andrew Pinder called for the government to develop clear guidelines about body handling, social distancing at funerals and additional capacity for body storage.
It is understood the sector received assurances on Wednesday night from the Chief Medical Officer that the government will work to develop an industry plan.