How mortuaries are handling funerals in Phoenix amid COVID-19 spread

A mortuary in Phoenix sent three of their employees to their New York location to help the overwhelmed staff there.

Next week, three more employees from Phoenix will join them. the manager says, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways families mourn their loved ones.

During this time of loss, mourners still have to follow social distancing guidelines.

The Shadow Mountain Mortuary Chapel can fit 200 people, but now only 10 are allowed to be there and they must sit 6 feet apart.

The business even came up with a novel way for large groups to say their goodbyes: They call it pass through visitation.

“We had the casket set up, families drove with their cars and got to see their loved one, nobody got out of their vehicles. They got to say goodbye ...," said Megan Millage, mortuary manager.

Graveside services have gone virtual as well.

“We’re doing a lot of Facebook live streaming so people outside of immediate family can participate and see the services," she said.

Arizona is not seeing a huge spike in funerals, but New York location however, sent out a company wide plea for help, and six associates from phoenix answered the call.

Morgues in New York are full, and refrigerated trucks have been brought in to house the overflow of bodies.

“They’re going to go for 2 weeks and help out where they can. When they come home, they have to quarantine for 2 weeks," Millage explained.

Many families have chosen to delay funeral services and burials until it’s safe to gather again.