New York officials work to find solutions for the growing number of COVID-19 deceased that require final resting places.
To help funeral directors in handling the influx of bodies, New York officials are temporarily changing regulations. From allowing out of state death care professionals to work in NY, allowing 24/7 cremations, and finding backup deceased storage solutions the city has its hands full dealing with the fatalities of the coronavirus.
Allowing out-of-state funeral workers to work in New York
On April 9, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, granted temporary license reciprocity to out-of-state funeral directors, allowing the national funeral directors association (NFDA) to send the names of 100 additional volunteers to the New York State Funeral Director Association (NYSFDA) in the coming days.
The Funeral Service Foundation and its COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund, will be reimbursing expenses incurred during the volunteers service (e.g., transportation, lodging and meals) that are not covered by any other funder or agency.
During his briefing to the federal government in Washington D.C. Cuomo announced that the extra funeral directors from surrounding areas will help the state to handle the influx of fatalities. He states: “If you ever told me as Governor that I would have to take these actions, I couldn’t even contemplate where we are now.”
New York allows 24hr cremation
One of the first actions that New York officials took when the coronavirus hit the city was to update the rulings on crematoriums. The NYC department of Environmental Protection loosened the regulations until June so that crematoria are now able to operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week to be able to handle the large numbers of COVID-19 fatalities.