Los Angeles has suspended its air-quality limits on local crematoriums — because it says there are just too many COVID-19 bodies to deal with.
The LA Coroner’s Office “has confirmed that there exists an urgent need for additional human crematory services to deal with the increased demand for such services resulting from deaths due to COVID-19,’’ wrote Wayne Nastri, head of the regional air-quality office, in an executive order Sunday.
“The Coroner has determined that the current rate of deaths in Los Angeles County is more than double that of pre-pandemic years,’’ Nastri said — the same day the city racked up another 108 coroanvirus-linked fatalities, for a total of 13,484 to date.
And the body count will only get worse, officials said.
The coroner’s office “anticipates that another surge is approaching as a result of the New Year’s holiday, since deaths tend to occur 4-6 weeks after gatherings,’’ Nastri wrote.
“As of January 15 over 2700 bodies are currently being stored at hospitals and the Coroner’s office; and the 28 crematories in Los Angeles County have the resources and capability to perform more cremations they cannot due to regulatory limits,’’ he said.
“Therefore, I hereby suspend permit conditions limiting the number of cremations or amount of human remains cremated.’’
On Saturday, LA County became the first in the US to hit 1 million diagnosed coronavirus cases.