New York State Professionals who are involved in the process of dealing with COVID-19 deaths are concerned about the dangerously low level of supplies involved in them performing their duties.

In a release from the New York State Association of Counties professionals such as Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors are issuing a warning about the surge in COVID-19 cases, the subsequent deaths and lack of financial support from the federal government.

With the number of deaths rising across the state, supplies such as body bags, proper morgue space for the deceased and others are fleeting. In the midst of this Pandemic certain professionals are finding it challenging to give the proper treatment to those who have passed on.

The Honorable Scott Schmidt is the Orleans County Coroner and President of the NYS Association of County Coroners and Medical Examiners (NSACCME). He said in the statement,

This global pandemic has overwhelmed resources in every county. We need funding. We need money for our protection, which in turn protects our families, it protects our colleagues, it enables us to do our jobs and with care and respect at all times. We have a sacred trust that we are charged with, but we can't do it without the appropriate protection that we need.

While all these professionals and their respective unions and organizations remain committed always to quality care and fulfillment of duty, their needs can't be ignored. Leaders of these organizations are pointing to the leadership of individual counties with great respect and appreciation, but at this point their hands are tied. The leaders in the respective fields associated with COVID-19 and other deaths are calling on Congress to step up and pass legislation to assist their professions. They have the following requests.

  1. Direct, flexible federal aid for all counties
  2. Allocation formula and city-county funding split outlined in the HEROES Act (H.R. 6748 – the Direct Support for Communities Act)
  3. Extension of the current deadline for Treasury CRF dollars until late 2021
  4. Reasonable "guardrails" that ensure COVID-19 relief dollars are tied to the public health, economic and community impacts of COVID-19.

As the winter gets colder and the case numbers get higher, unfortunately the death toll will inevitably continue to climb. Without help those who care for the remains of those who have been tragically taken by this disease will suffer.

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