New York City crematories work overtime
NEW YORK, Apr 2: New York City crematories are extending their hours, burning bodies into the night. The state has started a running tally of all cremations and burials. City officials are surveying upstate cemeteries for temporary interment sites.
The destructive spread of the coronavirus through New York has not yet reached its peak, but those who put the dead to rest have never been busier.
Funeral homes and cemetery directors described a surge in demand unseen in decades from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands and killed roughly 1,400 in New York City.
"We've been preparing for a worst-case scenario," said Mike Lanotte, executive director of the New York State Funeral Directors Association, "which is in a lot of ways starting to materialize."
A majority of New Yorkers choose cremation over burial, but the most-populous U.S. city has only four crematories: one in the Bronx, one in Brooklyn and two in Queens. Directors at two of those locations said their daily workload has jumped from around 10 bodies to 15 or more, straining resources. -Reuters