Coronavirus News: NYC funeral homes, cemeteries overwhelmed by COVID-19 pandemic

PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- One of the grim realities of the coronavirus pandemic is that hospital morgues are overflowing with victims.

Funeral homes are also feeling the weight of the outbreak as families struggle to find final resting places for their loved ones.

In a cramped and crowded office at the Jurek Funeral Home in Park Slope, Doris Amen said she can't keep up.

She said they are backlogged and it is heartbreaking for her to deal with.

"You cannot be focused with 30 funerals going on at the same time," Amen said. "My heart breaks. I wish I could help them, but we can't."

And as overwhelming as it is for her, for the families who has lost loved ones, it is so much worse.

Latina Ruffin said she has gone from funeral home to funeral home to see who can hold a proper burial because everyone is so booked.

Her mom, Aida Lago, died last weekend and she still has not found a funeral home for her.

"You can't have a decent service, you have to do Zoom, there's no human connection," Ruffin said.

The situation is even worse at cemeteries. Many are booking weeks in advance.

Ruffin was told she would have to wait until May by one funeral home.

"I don't know if we'd even be able to find her body if we waited that long," she said.


Where are the testing centers

See how our communities are making a difference
Free educational resources for parents and children
How you can help victims of coronavirus

Coronavirus news and live updates in New York
Coronavirus news and live updates in New Jersey

Coronavirus news and live updates in Connecticut
New York City updates
Long Island updates

How coronavirus is leaving ghost towns in its path
Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?

Social distancing: What is it and how does it stop the spread of coronavirus?
Coronavirus closures and cancelations
Coronavirus tips: What Americans need to know

Related Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Total count of COVID-19 cases based on patient address
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.