COLMA, Calif. (KRON) — San Francisco Bay Area funeral home workers have been working quietly and without accolades behind the scenes. They are on the front line, at the end of the line, ensuring COVID-19 victims have a peaceful resting place and are properly mourned.

One funeral home worker, Alexandra Petrini, was nominated by her co-workers to be a KRON4 Hero for being a source of calm, bravery, and professionalism during the coronavirus pandemic. Petrini is a preparation room manager and licensed embalmer at Cypress Lawn Funeral Home in Colma.

Jack Jensen, vice president of funeral services at Cypress said, “Alex is a delightful person. She is particularly noteworthy in this situation.”

Alexandra Petrini

“There are certain people in our profession — and Alex is a good example of one — who are brave … who understand that when we work in this field, we sign on for this. This is part of what we do. Every day of our professional lives is not going to be simple and risk-free. You see some who run for the hills. But you see some who say, ‘no, I’m licensed, I’m trained, I’m prepared to deal with this.’ They are making farewells possible. They are adding some dignity and care and reassurance to an otherwise frightening and very unsettling time,” Jensen said.

Families gripped in grief were unprepared for their loved one suddenly dying of a virus, let alone planning a funeral with restrictions. San Mateo County’s shelter-in-place order limits the number of people who can attend a funeral to just 10.

Funeral home workers at Cypress want mourners to know that they can still say goodbye, even with social distancing. For example, Cypress is providing free livestreaming of services at its six chapels.

Alexandra Petrini

“To lose someone you love in the best of times is an emotional and difficult and trying experience. To come to someone like an Alex who can offer reassurance, and who can say, it’s going to be possible for you to have a moment with your mother or father or whoever you loved and lost, that’s important, that’s why we exist,” Jensen said.

“Seeing people who carry that out so well, I’m proud of certainly Alex, all of our-co-workers, and of our profession as well,” he said.

COVID-19 cases and deaths in San Francisco Bay Area counties:

Santa ClaraCases: 2,105Deaths: 103
San MateoCases: 1,080Deaths: 41
San FranciscoCases: 1,424Deaths: 23
Contra CostaCases: 820Deaths: 25
AlamedaCases: 1,498Deaths: 52
MarinCases: 224Deaths: 12
SolanoCases: 226Deaths: 4
SonomaCases: 222Deaths: 2
NapaCases: 64Deaths: 2
TotalCases: 7,663Deaths: 264