Morgan County COVID-19 deaths rise exponentially, funeral homes feel the pressure

Peck Funeral Home in Hartselle has seen a rise in deaths all year, however in November, things got worse.

COVID-19 death rates rising

HARTSELLE, Ala. (WAFF) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the valley, so do the number of people who lose their lives to this virus.

In Morgan County, those numbers have been exceptionally high.

Since September, the number of COVID-19 deaths in Morgan County has nearly quadrupled.

“For us, it’s just dealing with the volume,” Geoff Halbrooks explained.

Halbrooks is the general manager at Peck Funeral Homes in Hartselle. He said in a typical year, they usually get 450-500 calls for funerals.

By November of 2020, Halbrooks said they had well over 600, and a lot of those calls were due to COVID-19.

”It is more than normal, no doubt about that,” Halbrooks continued.

During this abnormal year, Halbrooks and his staff have made changes to ensure families could still properly mourn their loved ones.

”Having restrictions in the funeral home for social distancing, having chapel funerals where we have every other pew blocked off,” Halbrooks said.

Unfortunately, as the death rate continues to climb in Morgan County, Halbrooks and other county officials are having to prepare for the worst.

”There has been talk with EMA and our coroner Jeff Chunn on what would we do if there were volumes we could not handle. Certainly, those plans are made, but we haven’t had to put it into action yet,” Halbrooks said.

Halbrooks says he hopes that doesn’t have to happen and that you can take part in ensuring it doesn’t.

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