Coronavirus pandemic has led to issues and backlogs at funeral homes

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – The growing death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on funeral homes.

Many across the country, including those in South Florida, are dealing with delays.

Some families have been left in limbo, not knowing how much longer they will have to wait to bury their loved ones.

Losing a loved one is extremely tough and the pandemic is only making those losses even more difficult for some to bear, and bear out.

Jennifer Svedberg-Snyder told Local 10 News’ Layron Livingston she and her husband Clint were together for more than 20 years. He died on Christmas Eve from COVID-19 at the age of 65.

Svedberg-Snyder said Clint’s death certificate did not come in the mail until last week.

“If my sister hadn’t made that phone call when three weeks had gone by, that death certificate would probably be still sitting at the doctor’s office,” Svedberg-Snyder said. “That’s been the toughest part; you can’t move forward until you get that document.”

Terry Wright owns Wright and Young Funeral Home and understands the frustration.

“You’re talking about banks, you’re talking about annuities, you’re talking about anything tangible, you’re talking about real estate; the death certificate is a very vital document in for families in order to process after a loved one has passed away,” Wright said.

Nearly a year after the pandemic hit, its affects still linger.

“It’s our job to help facilitate the death certificates for families,” he said, explaining that the process has been backlogged due to the pandemic.

Wright said doctors who have to sign off on those certificates are overwhelmed.

“We’re not in a normal world, anymore,” Wright said.

His advice is for loved one to be as patient as they possibly can, though Svedberg-Snyder said being proactive is what helped her case.

“Maybe we should have called sooner,” she said “I thought everything was being taken care of.”

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