Arizona Funeral Homes Overwhelmed With COVID-19 Death-Related Memorials

By Matt Galka | Published January 13, 2021 | Coronavirus in Arizona | FOX 10 Phoenix

More than 1,000 COVID-19-related deaths have been documented in Arizona over the past seven days and many are finding it increasingly more difficult to give loved ones a proper burial.

“We had to stock all of our shelves this morning because as fast as we put the urns on the shelves, they get sold and they’re taken off. We can’t keep them on the shelves,” said Elisa Krcilek, Vice President of Mountain View Funeral Home.

Thirty years in business, he says he’s never uttered such words.

“We typically serve about 40 families a month. We did 90 in the month of December,” Krcilek said, adding, “It’s been overtime, double time. I’ve got funeral directors coming in at 6-6:30 a.m. Staying until 8 or 9 p.m.”

The volume of COVID-19 deaths has made it especially hard to get families closure. Krcilek says the only reason Mountain View is keeping up with demand is because its crematory is on-site, with the county lifting the restrictions on cremations after dark.

Krcilek fears plenty of deaths are still ahead, saying, “There’s a lot of people still gathering. Those gatherings are resulting in people getting sick, and in some cases dying. I wish I could say we’ve been through the worst of it, but I don’t know that.”


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