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Southern California mortuaries stretched during virus surge

Darryl Hutchinson
Posted at 12:37 PM, Jan 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-02 15:37:27-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California funeral homes are turning away bereaved families because they’re running out of space for the bodies piling up during an unrelenting coronavirus surge.

One funeral home is averaging about 30 body removals a day — up from about five during normal times. Mortuary owners are calling each other to see if anyone can handle overflow, and the answer is always the same: they're full too.

The head of the California Funeral Directors Association says mortuaries are being “inundated." Los Angeles County, the epicenter of the crisis in California, has surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 deaths.