Funeral homes working overtime as COVID-19 deaths increase

Funeral homes working overtime as COVID-19 deaths increase

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - While many businesses slowed down during the pandemic, that is not the case for funeral homes across the country and here in the Tri-State.

“It’s been going very crazy,” President of Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes Mickey Radel said. “We have been extremely busy, we’re probably up at least 50%, and it just is continuing on.”

Since March, funeral home employees say they have been clocking in extra hours to help families lay loved ones to rest.

“During December, my husband and I took off maybe two, three days, and Christmas was one of them,” Radel said.

She says even though they have been swamped with funeral arrangements, everyone has been following all of the safety guidelines.

Walker Funeral Home Director Debbie Weaver says at the beginning of the pandemic she noticed a lot of people choosing cremation options instead of burials.

“Because with the social distancing, people are no longer able to have all of their family travel into the services,” Weaver said.

But, she says, that is changing.

“We are definitely noticing a lot of extra hours just trying to keep up with the influx of extra people that have passed away,” Weaver said.

The state of Ohio has never limited the number of people who can attend a funeral, although individual funeral homes may have their own limitations in place.

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