Funeral homes, hospitals bring in extra coolers for remains as COVID-19 deaths climb – Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida 2021-09-20 12:00:21 –

Check the trends of local companies during the pandemic, I team As the number of COVID-19-related deaths continues to grow, we have discovered an industry (funeral home) that faces new challenges.

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Today, funeral homes are struggling to find space to store their remains as cremation delays increase and COVID deaths increase.

so Cool Hills Memory Gardens At Palm Harbor, going through the front door to the office reminds us that pandemics are not a problem of the past. At funeral halls and graveyards, everyone needs to measure their temperature before proceeding.


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During this time last year, many funeral homes were delinquent in cremation for at least two weeks, delaying the feeling of closure of their loved ones. This was also a time when many families had to hold virtual ceremonies due to social distance restrictions / restrictions.

“We’re back to what it was before COVID,” said Curlew Hills Memory Gardens President and CEO. Keenan Nopke He described a face-to-face funeral. “Except for the increasing number of deaths.”

Keenan-Knopke, -Curlew-Hills-Memory-Gardens-in-Palm-Harbor-WFTS.jpg President and CEO


“I’m not trying to do a vaccination commercial, but at the same time I can say I’m standing here and need to be vaccinated because it works,” said the vice chairman. Nopke, who served, said. NS Funeral Cemetery and Consumer Services Commission Of Florida. “Get vaccinated. It may save you yours life. ”

He said the COVID-19 death he was seeing was “quite upward” when he saw him working with his family last year.

“Now we are looking at young people, and they were younger than 50-55 years old and were not vaccinated before they felt immune … enough to get over it. “We are in a tough fight,” says Nopke. ,it’s not”

Knopke has a business that comforts clients. He also needs to prepare for difficult realities.

He needs space to store his ashes.

Last year, Knopke rented two additional coolers to store the remains in accordance with state law.

Extra Cooler-Curlew-Hills-Memory-Gardens-WFTS.jpg


“They are someone’s loved ones. You take care of them as if they were yours. And that’s what our business people do,” Knopke said. rice field.

Without additional space, Cooloo Hills Memory Gardens would have no choice but to keep his family away, he explained.

“I was trying to get a third to make sure I had the capacity,” Knopke said of his current position.

But what company does he rent?

“They don’t have any more coolers.”

Knopke confirmed that the situation was worse than it was a year ago.

“A week ago I was worried. Let’s do that. I’m very worried,” he said.

In Hillsboro, near the beginning of the pandemic, the county brought in refrigerated containers. So far, coroner offices did not have to use them.

Knopke said I-Team state regulators are in contact with coroners and funeral halls.

“They vote for us almost every week to 10 days. They’re trying to keep a run list of availability so they can help if someone runs out or runs out of area. “

He explained that it may mean moving the body to another country for the time being.

“In the last few weeks Orlando has virtually reached capacity,” Knopke said.

When asked if he had seen the need for this kind of adjustment, Knopke told Team I, “No, not to my knowledge. I’ve been doing this for 50 years.”

Florida Financial Services Authority Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services DepartmentsSaid seeking assistance from local health and / or state emergency management departments for businesses facing refrigeration issues.

The locations where the local hospitals are located are:

Advent Health

“The surge in critically ill patients in our hospitals and current tension and throughput issues at local funeral halls have made it necessary to allocate resources to provide additional morgue capacity at Advent Health Tampa. I did. “


“BayCare has been proactive in preparing for this surge in COVID-19 patients. In addition to ensuring that we have sufficient stock of personal protective equipment, ventilators and medicines, the early stages of the pandemic. In addition, we have secured additional refrigeration to increase the capacity of the morgue. This process is part of an emergency preparedness plan and will help maintain operational needs in a variety of possible scenarios. Due to the recent pandemic of COVID-19 patients and their associated deaths, families are using part of this space while working in several morgues when arranging for their loved ones. . “

Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General Hospital has reported that it has not been brought to the I-Team and that it has an additional cooler for the corpse.

Recommended: Requests for county assistance to pay for cremation are skyrocketing as families are absent from work

Last year, the number of families struggling to cover the cost of cremation also surged, leaving many families absent from work due to a pandemic.

Hillsborough County said the number of people seeking county help is still high, but less than last year.

Poor cremation in Hillsborough County

  • January-August 2020: 485
  • January-August 2021: 429

In April, the federal government began providing financial support for COVID-19-related funeral expenses.

As of September 13, FEMA has refunded 9,132 Floridians for $ 51,839,867 so far.


At this time, there is no deadline to apply for FEMA funeral assistance.

FEMA | Funeral Support FAQ

Funeral homes, hospitals bring in extra coolers for remains as COVID-19 deaths climb Source link Funeral homes, hospitals bring in extra coolers for remains as COVID-19 deaths climb

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