As the U.S. nears 400,000 COVID-19 related deaths, California is struggling to keep up with the increasing need to manage the bodies of those who have passed.
With the current death rate being more than double that in pre-pandemic years, a permit limiting the number of monthly cremations is Los Angeles County for air quality reasons has been temporarily suspended to assist in relieving the current backlog caused by COVID-19.
The 10-day emergency order was made Sunday, Jan. 17, by the South Coast Air Quality Management District at the request of the Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner Coroner and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the district said in a news release.
Crematoriums intending to exceed permit limits must provide written notice to the air quality district, be within 15 percent of reaching or exceeding one or more “applicable limits,” maintain records of all operations exceeding limits and meet other requirements, the executive order reads.
Limits vary from crematory to crematory and are based on emission factors and calculations at the time of permitting, the district said.
The decision comes as hospitals, funeral homes, and crematoriums are exceeding capacity without the ability to process the backlog of cases, the district said.
The emergency order can be extended if warranted, the district said.
It’s crazy when you think about that face that so many people have died in Los Angeles, they had to temporarily suspended air-quality regulations that limit the number of cremations.