As hospitals in Southern California are filling with people infected with COVID-19, so too are the places where many of those patients end up. Mortuary and funeral home operators say they are having to turn away bereaved families because they don’t have the capacity to handle more bodies.
“The thing that’s never happened to me, even since the beginning of this,” said Rob Karlin, the owner and funeral director of Los Angeles Funeral Service in Culver City, “is I’m now saying to people who are calling me, ‘I’m sorry. We can’t accommodate you. We’re at capacity.’”
Karlin founded a casket company in 1996 and the funeral service in 2005. “I’ve never been in a position where I had to say, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t help you,’” he said.
In Los Angeles County, 7,181 people were hospitalized Tuesday with COVID-19, a single-day record, according to the county health department. A fifth of those patients were in intensive care units. Those 7,181 hospitalizations represent a more than three-fold increase from the peak of an earlier virus surge in July, the health department said.
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