COVID-19's 'last responders,' owners of funeral homes, brace for deluge of expected deaths

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As they brace for the expected COVID-19 post-holiday surge, funeral homes across the nation are scrambling for necessities such as body bags, caskets and PPE.

With record high coronavirus cases from California to Georgia, health officials are terrified of the pending death count.

"We're only in the sixth day of the year, and we have had probably about 40 calls from families since Jan. 1," Gregory Levett Sr., who owns four metro Atlanta funeral homes told FOX5 Atlanta.

Levett says business has increased by 40% in 2020 compared to years past.

"It's a lot of people we talked to three or four months ago, and they're back again with other loved ones," Levett said.
"It's very hard on the families as well as the employees."

Funeral homes and embalmers have been hit as hard as frontline medical workers during the pandemic.

"The psychological is very heavy on our staff and on our employees," Bill Hightower, president of Georgia Funeral Directors Association tells FOX5. "The long hours, the extended time periods, it can get depressing."

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