Funeral homes keeping up on COVID-19 related deaths

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With COVID-19 deaths on the rise, KELOLAND News stopped by a couple of funeral homes in Sioux Falls Friday to see how they’re handling the rise in the number of funerals related to the pandemic.

The death certificates at George Boom Funeral Home in Sioux Falls that list COVID-19 as the primary cause of death or COVID-related are piling up.

“There’s certainly at least a 20% increase in the number of deaths in what the doctors say are COVID-related,” Phil Schmitz George Boom Funeral Home said.

These five death certificates were all in just the last week.

“We’ve had a significant increase, I think any funeral home across the state would tell you the same thing,” Schmitz said.

However, Tim Wingen of Miller Funeral Home says they haven’t seen the same kind of spike of COVID-related deaths.

“You know, Don, we really aren’t overwhelmed,” Tim Wingen of Miller Funeral Home said.

He says a recent report put out by the Funeral Homes Association says most are handling the case load with very little problems.

“50% of the funeral homes in the United States are pretty much status quo, doing the same volume that they would traditionally do,” Wingen said.

They say normally this is a busy time of year anyway, they just hope it doesn’t get any busier with the pandemic.

“We pretty much have the ability to take care of anything that comes our way, at least at this point,” Schmitz said.

The biggest change the funeral homes are having to adapt to is the number of people who attend a funeral.

Both Miller and George Boom say that’s left entirely up to the families.

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