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Funeral Homes Are Extremely Busy

According to Thursday’s report from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 122 people have now died from COVID-19 in Cambria County.

For Henderson Funeral Homes in Cambria County, the harsh reality of rising COVID-19 deaths is hitting home.

“Over the past 4 weeks, two-thirds of the deaths we’ve experienced are all COVID deaths,” said the owner, Troy Henderson.

He says not only are there more funerals – but there are more virtual viewings, making loved ones miss out on talking, hugging, looking at photos, and other things needed to grieve.

“The public coming in for a viewing and funeral is part of that grieving process that the family needs to go through. They need to hear those stories about their loved one,” Henderson said.

For families who still choose in person services, there are less people, especially from relatives not traveling in due to COVID.

“Some of the families that we’re working with – their loved one who passed away – they were in a nursing home, and they have not seen that person in the nursing home for three months, six months. The first time they’re actually seeing that person is here,” Henderson said.

On the other side of town at Hindman Funeral Homes, owner Bill Hindman says 90 percent of their families have had a correlation to COVID.

“It’s just a noticeable uptick in how busy we are. We’re literally doing twice the amount of families that we normally serve,” Hindman said.

He says in some cases, COVID-19 restrictions don’t allow for families to be with their loved ones in the weeks or days leading up to their death.

“I think a lot of people, myself included, wasn’t really sure what to think early on and what not. But something’s increasing the death rate at this point, and it just has to correlate to that,” Hindman said.

Making an already difficult time a lot harder.

“It’s been pretty much nonstop recently. For the most part, doesn’t seem like it’s going to slow down anytime soon,” Hindman said.

They also say it’s important to remember that these aren’t just statistics – there’s a family behind each of these numbers, whose lives will forever be changed by COVID-19.

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