New Jersey extending hours at crematories due to coronavirus deaths

New Jersey state regulators are allowing crematories to extend their hours due to the number of coronavirus deaths.

In an executive order, The Department of Environmental Protection is allowing crematories to operate as many hours a day as they need to take care of bodies.

The head of the New Jersey State Police says authorities are also working to allow extended hours at cemeteries due to the influx in bodies due to coronavirus deaths in the state.

Col. Pat Callahan said Wednesday that he had spoken with the state's attorney general.  He said they are working with the Department of Consumer Affairs to extend the hours that cemeteries can operate.

Crematories in New Jersey are required to be located on cemetery grounds.  There are approximately 25 operational crematories in the state.

"It is a daily discussion for us.  It is not an easy discussion between our chief medical examiner and the medical examiners and the funeral directors," Callahan said.

The crematory operators must continue to follow all other current rules on operating temperatures, capacity rules, visible emission standards, and offsite odors.

"We sometimes have to talk about things that are uncomfortable," Gov. Phil Murphy said.