Funeral Homes Run Out Of Capacity in California as Covid-19 Rages
Published On:January 11, 2021
As neighborhoods around the nation feel the pain of a rise in cases of coronavirus, funeral homes in Southern California's hot spot state they must turn away mourning families as they run out of room for the piling up bodies. The president of the association of state funeral directors says mortuaries are being filled as the United States nears a grim tally of 350,000 Covid-19 fatalities. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, more than 20 million people in the world have been contaminated. Magda Maldonado, owner of Los Angeles' Continental Funeral Home expressed that she never thought this could happen.
Continental averages approximately 30 body removals a day, six times its regular rate. Mortuary owners call each other to see if overflow can be handled by others, and the answer is always the same: they are also complete. Maldonado has leased extra 50-foot (15-meter) refrigerators for two of the four facilities she operates in LA and nearby counties to keep up with the influx of bodies. Continental has also been stopping pickups for a day or two at hospitals when dealing with residential customers. Bob Achermann, the California Funeral Directors Association's executive director, said the entire process of burying and cremating corpses, including embalming bodies and obtaining death certificates, has slowed down.