Funeral Homes Having A Hard Time Keeping Up With Rise In Covid-19 Deaths

"Were finding it more and more of a challenge to keep up with it," said Cody Downs, the manager of the Cremation Services of Superior.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to put a strain on the funeral industry.

The rapidly rising case numbers are making it difficult for funeral homes just to keep up.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Lenroot- Maetzold funeral home in superior has been getting hit hard.

“We had a difficult time trying to get PPE. The local government didn’t think we were essential workers,” said William Downs III, the president of Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home and the Cremation Services of Superior.

The funeral home has since been able to get personal protective equipment, but the available supply continues to be low.

Another hardship the company faces is the rising number of COVID-19 related deaths in the region.

“Were finding it more and more of a challenge to keep up with it,” said Cody Downs, the manager of the Cremation Services of Superior.

Part of the setback is due to not receiving a death certificate quickly.

“It is a requirement by the order of the state that physicians sign a death certificate when its COVID-related within 48 hours. We’re having a real problem with that,” said Downs III.

At the pace COVID-19 cases are going up, funeral homes will continue to keep trying to stay ahead.

Lenroot has taken in several individuals who died from complications with covid-19 in a short time span.

“We have had at least 40 cases in the last few months and it just seems to be rising,” said Downs III.

An increase in the industry may be more than a financial gain.

Staff at Lenroot say it is also disheartening having to help families adjust to the new way they grieve their loved ones.

“I definitely feel condolences for the families to have an unexpected death like that happen and shorten a life span. I could not imagine,” said Downs.

Approximately 50 funerals have had to be canceled at the Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home because of COVID-19 related restrictions

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