One of the largest cemeteries in North America is struggling to maintain the need for funerals due to the increase in Govt-19 deaths.
The Rose Hills Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Whittier, California, is spread over 1,000 acres, but families have to wait up to five weeks for final arrangements, usually a waiting period of five to seven days.
Patrick Monroe, President and CEO of Rose Hills, said: “Many families are very aware of the backlog of services, and the number of daily calls for requests increased a few weeks after Thanksgiving.
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Monroe said it usually handles 20 to 30 funerals a day, but that number has almost doubled in the last 1 1/2 months. As grave-19 deaths are on the rise, the cemetery has ordered 25 refrigeration units to keep extra bodies.
More than 3 million corona virus cases have been reported in California, killing nearly 40,000 people, according to NBC News. In Los Angeles, the largest district in the country, an average of 10 people are tested for the corona virus every minute. Every six minutes, one person from Govt-19 dies, according to district public health data.
Although indoor funerals are banned by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, many funerals and attendance sites are set up to manage cemetery arrangements and maintain safety guidelines.
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“Family members can’t really see their loved ones in the hospital, so the views now have a new emotional impact,” Monroe said.
Monroe said they are resilient even though the death toll is too high for staff. The cemetery offers staff assistance programs, special compensation and break rooms with healthy snacks.
“I am very proud of our team,” Monroe said. “Like the health workers, they are coming back to do what they can, and I thank them.”