Deaths in area up 30%

Published 1:35 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Crenshaw County funeral numbers rose approximately 30 percent in 2020.

“On average, we handle around 120 funerals and cremations a year. Last year, we had 157. That is most
certainly a steep increase” said said Lyndsey Turner, funeral home director for Turners Funeral
Home.

Turner said 4 out of 14 deaths in the last 20 days were due to COVID. Not all of the excess seen
can be laid on the virus. The stress that everyone has been feeling during 2020 and into the new year, as
well as people’s reluctance to leave home and go to the doctor or hospital for care may be contributing to
rise in death.

Turners Funeral Home currently does not have any increased wait time for burials, but cremations may
take a little longer than normal due to higher demand.

“The primary cause of death in most cases is acute respiratory failure, brought on by COVID-19” said
Turner. “Most have underlying conditions (like asthma), but those weren’t likely to have killed them last
year if they hadn’t gotten COVID.”

There is no evidence of inflated numbers from hospitals and doctors, Turner said. She said COVID
has only been listed on death certificates for people who had a positive test according to both hospitals
and families.

Funeral homes, morgues, and hospitals in more populated areas around the country have reported
being overwhelmed with the increase of patients and bodies. Many morgues and funeral homes are
having to use refrigerated trailers as impromptu morgues. Funerals and cremations in hard hit area are
being delayed three or more weeks due to the significant increase in body count and backlogs of
hospitals.