NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The Jefferson Parish coroner took steps today to deal with a growing backlog of the deceased at local hospitals. Funeral directors plagued with a variety of issues are having problems picking up bodies.
Jefferson Parish coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich says the morgue still has space but he’s brought in a refrigerated truck with shelves to handle more coronavirus victims should the need arise.
Normally funeral homes are able to pick up the deceased at local hospitals on a regular basis, but now those pickups are being delayed due to safety concerns for morticians.
“If they’re out of PPE’s we’re not going to leave our staff unprotected to serve those families,” funeral director Boyd Mothe said.
Funeral directors say not only are they having problems getting protective gear but they say the logistics of planning a funeral under the coronavirus threat is also creating logjams.
Families are having a tough time planning funerals under a state mandate restricting gatherings of more than 10 people to try and prevent the viruses spread.
”That’s a challenge, we tell families as kind as we can be some families have 20 direct family members,” Mothe said.
As funeral directors try and find ways of conducting online memorial services, the coroner makes plans for the worst, as he hopes for the best.
“We have to step in and help, we’re not gonna leave our hospitals high and dry," Mothe said.
Funeral director Boyd Mothe says if anybody knows where he can get protective gear for his people who have to deal with coronavirus victims, please give him a call.