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'We are here together': Macon funeral homes busy as COVID-19 death toll rises

Richard R. Robinson Funeral Home says business has been busier in part due to COVID-19.

MACON, Ga. — As of Monday evening, the United States has crossed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University. In Georgia, we saw our deadliest day earlier this month. A Central Georgia funeral home says business has been busier due in part to COVID-19. 

"The funeral home license owners, we are in this as well," Carlton Maye Jr., Managing Partner and Funeral Director of Richard R. Robinson Funeral Home, said. 

For Maye Jr., 2020 proved to be a unique year for the funeral home.

Wanya Reese asked, "How has the coronavirus impacted the business that you all do?"

Maye Jr. replied, "It has impacted the business in several different ways -- now some of those arrangements have moved to virtual, where we have to, unfortunately, do all the selection, type of services from tradition ranging from memorial."

Maye says in 2019 vs. 2020, they worked with about 63 more families with some cases being because of COVID-19.

"It has really been a very impact on the number of cases, the number of families we have had to serve during this difficult time," Maye said.

Over at Coliseum Medical Centers, Dr. Jennifer Hoffman says recent deaths are because of the holiday surge we saw.

"It is not surprising some percentage of those people are unfortunately going to die three, four weeks after they contract COVID, so you know the larger amount of cases the larger amount of deaths because unfortunately, our treatment for COVID is not terribly effective," Hoffman said who is Infectious Disease specialist said. 

Dr. Hoffman says with cases trending down the number of deaths will continue to go down as well.

"It will be delayed by a couple of weeks," Maye said.

Dr. Hoffman says following the CDC's guidelines on the virus and getting vaccinated will help the death toll continue to decline.