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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

As COVID deaths slow down, funeral services picking up

One funeral director said at the beginning of the pandemic, it was heartbreaking to tell people their whole family couldn't go to the funeral of a loved one.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The way we have mourned those lost during the pandemic was changed the past year.

With the number of COVID deaths slowing down now, funeral director Laura Lundberg said those impacted in 2020 are finally having services.

“They’re definitely picking up because they can have them," she said.

Lundberg has been in the funeral business since 2017. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, she said it was heartbreaking to tell people their whole family couldn't go to their own loved ones' funeral.

“It didn’t occur to me that could happen as a funeral director that I could be working, as a funeral director, in a pandemic," Lundberg explained.

Today, people are having full services. That means more and more loved ones are saying goodbye to those who have passed during the height of the pandemic.

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Government assistance is available to help pay for funerals. The FEMA.gov website lists the below information:

Who can apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance?

You may qualify if:

  1. You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and
  2. The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.

Who cannot apply?

  • A minor child cannot apply on behalf of an adult who is not a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
  • There are several categories of aliens lawfully present in the U.S. who are not eligible for FEMA’s Individual and Households Program assistance, including funeral assistance. These include, but are not limited to:
    • Temporary tourist visa holders
    • Foreign students
    • Temporary work visa holders
    • Habitual residents such as citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

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