Crystal Funeral Home Sees Busiest Month During COVID-19 Pandemic
A Crystal funeral home, along with many others, is dealing with high demand due to COVID-19 cases. The latest numbers released Thursday from the Minnesota Department of Health show more than 660 deaths from the disease.
William McReavy, president of Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels, says this is usually a slow period. He says all 16 locations, including Crystal, are hectic.
“The month of March is the busiest we’ve had in 163 years. It’s very real. And this month is going to be the same way,” he said.
McReavy says employees are busy trying to keep up with relevant documents, such as filing death certificates and securing authorizations.
“We’re able to manage the demand. We’re working as a team to make sure we do everything the best way positive,” said McReavy.
As the death numbers climb, it takes a toll on storage space. McReavy says they have extensive capacity to handle a large number of deceased cases.
“We’ve got actually four different refrigeration facilities that allow us to expand and be able to accommodate as many human remains as we could ever possibly come into,” explained McReavy.
Funeral Homes Get Creative to Help Others Pay Respects
The Crystal funeral home continues to follow the social distancing guidelines when it comes to funeral services. That means no more than 10 people for a memorial service. However, some families are getting creative when it comes to saying their final goodbyes. Recently, the Crystal chapel held a drive-through visitation.
“At our Glen Haven Chapel in Crystal. we had the casket just inside the door. We have a very extensive carport, and we would just bring the cars through one at a time, and they would get out and pay their respects. It was beautiful. It worked very, very well,” said McReavy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said funerals should be limited to a small number of mourners physically present and streamed online for everyone else.