The COVID-19 epidemic in Los Angeles County, California, has been severe. The capacity of local funeral homes to accommodate bodies has exceeded the limit, and some customers have to be turned away.
The Associated Press reported on January 2, 2021 that the Los Angeles County “Continent Funeral Hall” is handling about 30 bodies a day at this stage, six times the normal number. When the local funeral home could not put more bodies, they called to ask if other funeral homes could share them, and found that other funeral homes were the same.
Magda Maldonado, the owner of the Continental Funeral Museum, said: “I have to say to the family of the deceased, ‘We can’t accept your (dead) family.’ I have been engaged in funeral business for 40 years, and I never thought this would happen.
Bob Ackerman, head of the California funeral-related industry association, said that the whole process of cremation or burial has slowed down, including embalming and death certificates for the body. Normally, the body can be cremated in a day or two, and now it will take at least a week to wait.
Ackerman said that in southern California, “every funeral home says, ‘We have tried our best to speed up’.” Ackerman worries that worse things are still ahead.
Los Angeles County, the “epicenter” of the California epidemic, has more than 10,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press.