Somerset funeral home held 19 COVID-19 related funerals in December alone

Posted at 9:02 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 21:59:41-05

SOMERSET, Ky. (LEX 18) — Pulaski County is experiencing a major spike in COVID-19 cases.

Earlier this week, Gov. Andy Beshear reported a startling seven deaths in a single day, the Health Department says this is because of a backlog; and so far, they have recorded two deaths in the month of January.

A spokesperson for the Pulaski County Health Department did confirm since mid-November they have seen a huge surge in cases. Since the pandemic began, Pulaski County has reported 65 deaths and 39 of those came from the month of December alone.

This increase directly translates to a huge burden put on funeral homes. Richard New is the manager of the Southern Oaks Funeral Home in Somerset and he says in December they held 19 COVID-19 related services and have already held four more in January. This increase has made for almost double the number of monthly services.

"I thought December was just a spike, and we will see what happens in January, but if it continues at this rate it's going to be another month with a lot of COVID-19 deaths," New said.

New says they try to provide the families they serve with the best, but it's very challenging especially under the circumstances surrounding the virus.

"It's stressful you are dealing with families who maybe haven't even seen their loved ones. They haven't been allowed to be there, normally you would be by their bedside taking care of them. In this situation families aren't even allowed to go see the person," said New.