ALL NEWS

Morgues and funeral homes in New York City say they are overwhelmed

Apr 1, 2020, 6:33 AM
morgues new york...
William Samuels delivers caskets to the Gerard Neufeld Funeral Home, Friday, March 27, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic in the Queens borough of New York. A funeral home in New York City has seen a steady stream of people who have died from the coronavirus. In just the past week, the funeral home has had services for almost a dozen people who have died, and is expecting more. For those mourning loved ones, funerals in the age of self-quarantine and social distancing are a far cry from the rituals of collective mourning that took place even a few weeks ago. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(CNN) — Funeral directors and morgues in New York are bracing for a worst-case scenario as the death toll keeps rising daily.

There are 41,771 positive cases of Covid-19 in New York City and 1,096 fatalities, according to the mayor’s office. And there are at least 8,400 people hospitalized, with nearly 1,900 of those in the ICU.

The director of New York State Funeral Directors Association told CNN funeral directors have seen a surge in the number of deaths since the weekend.

Mike Lanotte says his association comprises roughly 950 funeral homes across New York state. He says there are about 155,000 deaths that occur annually in the state, roughly 425 a day. This past weekend, Lanotte said they saw 475 related Covid-19 deaths in just two days.

“We are doubling the death toll on a daily basis,” he said.

The morgues are at capacity and trucks have been brought in to store the additional deceased, Lanotte said. And now the concern is what happens next?

“The problem is funeral directors and cemeteries have decided to reduce staff because of Covid-19 and they are burying fewer people per day, you are going to have a bottleneck of bodies if they are unable to bury in a timely manner,” Lanotte said.

Lanotte said immediate family members are allowed to attend ceremonies at funeral homes, based on recent guidance from the governor’s office. The governor’s office has said immediate family should be limited to as few people as possible while maintaining social distancing, according to the association.

“It’s not ideal by any stretch, but funeral directors are certainly working with families, and families are very understating of what the circumstances are,” Lanotte said.

A few funeral homes have reported back to Lanotte that in order to accommodate a larger group of friends and family, some people have arranged Skype or Facebook livestreams of the ceremonies, “and they have worked pretty well under the circumstances.”

As for protecting their staff, funeral directors are concerned about the lack of PPE right now given the need to maintain proper universal precautions when picking up the deceased from hospitals.

“Worst case scenario would be similar to the churches in Italy with caskets stacked on top of each other,” Lanotte said. “I’m not saying we are there, but no one wants to get there.”

“We are working on trying to resolve the bottleneck so that we can get back to a normal level of operations during the pandemic,” he said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

false lockdown...
Devin Oldroyd

Lehi building placed on false lockdown after report of unconcealed gun

A Lehi building was placed on a false lockdown following a report of a man with an unconcealed firearm. There was determined to be no threat at the scene.
1 day ago
Holiday Police Pay-it-Forward event....
Waverly Golden

Salt Lake City Police Department hosts holiday Pay-it-Forward event

Salt Lake City Police Department along with SLC School District paired 50 children with a police officer for a holiday shopping experience.
1 day ago
This morning the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express made a pit stop at the new SLC Airport o...
Waverly Golden

Snowball Express arrives at Salt Lake City Airport

On Dec. 3 the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express made a pit stop at the new SLC Airport on its way to Orlando Walt Disney World. 
1 day ago
Four Dead University of Idaho...
Aya Elamroussi, CNN

Authorities swat down rumors surrounding unsolved killings of 4 University of Idaho students

Authorities in a small Idaho city that had not recorded a murder in years are urging the public to be vigilant against rumors and conjectures surrounding the unsolved killings of four college students last month.
1 day ago
A burrow is among the items an adopted desert tortoise needs. Photo by Utah Division of Wildlife Re...
Mia Alberti, Lianne Kolirin and Tara Subramaniam, CNN

Jonathan the tortoise, world’s oldest land animal, celebrates his 190th birthday

The South Atlantic island of St. Helena is celebrating the birthday of the world's oldest living land animal -- a Seychelles giant tortoise called Jonathan, who is turning 190.
1 day ago
Cam Rising losing his helmet (Photo Credit, Wally Skalij, LA Times)...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: The long and winding road to the championship

Never give up, not on each other, the children, or life. We may be down, but never out. Keep fighting for the things we hold dear. We believe in each other.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Morgues and funeral homes in New York City say they are overwhelmed