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.
California leads the country in the number of positive cases and is only behind New York in total number of deaths, with areas like Los Angeles county experiencing the worst of this global pandemic.
In response to the number of deaths, L.A. officials have temporarily suspended air-quality regulations that limit the number of cremations, the L.A. Times reports. The county's death rate is now more than double its pre-pandemic level, and so many people have died that the regulations are limiting the community's ability to respond.
Per the report, health officials and the L.A. County coroner requested the suspension since hospitals, funeral homes, and crematoriums are exceeding capacity “without the ability to process the backlog,” according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
This harrowing news comes as the total numbers of California residents who have tested positive climbed past 3 million on Monday, while L.A. County crossed the 1 million mark.