Local funeral industry sees high demand amid COVID-19 pandemic

coronavirus

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As Clark County and Nevada continue to see COVID-19 case and death numbers soar, the local funeral and cremation industry reported a staggering demand Friday. 

It’s a scene we don’t want to set after losing so many loved ones to COVID. 

“There’s consequences,” Laura Sussman, co-owner of Kraft-Sussman Funeral & Cremation Services, said of the virus. “Really tragic consequences.”

However, burial demand is rising at a rapid rate no one, including Sussman, could have predicted. 

“We had double what we normally see,” she said of the bodies they’ve housed due to coronavirus deaths. “And now, starting in January, we’re seeing what could be triple what we normally see.”

John Hopkins University reports 368,773 Americans have died due to COVID-19 complications. That surpasses the 291,557 combat deaths our country saw in World War II. 

Nevada set a grim new record of 60 deaths Tuesday. As of Friday, 3,394 people have lost their lives across our state. To view our latest COVID numbers, click here.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Sussman said. “I don’t think anyone has.”

In fact, Kraft-Sussman Funeral & Cremation Services has seen so many new bodies due to coronavirus deaths, they had to order a refrigerated unit from the Clark County Coroner just to house them all. 

“Every day, they are working on taking care of these bodies that have been infected,” Sussman explained. 

Clark County’s COVID-19 numbers also ranked among the worst in the nation, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest report. To view the report, click here.

This is why Sussman isn’t just asking, but begging people to take precautions, because it will save lives. 

“It would make a big difference,” she concluded. “I could get a little sleep at night, and people could live.”

Sussman also explained that when her staff processes the body of someone who has died due to COVID-19, they are at risk of exposure, as a body can still transmit the virus.

Employees have to be as careful as possible and wear personal protective equipment. 

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