Mortuary hours extended in SLO to deal with increased coronavirus deaths

In response to a surge in COVID-19 deaths in San Luis Obispo County, the city of SLO is allowing mortuaries to increase their hours of operations to handle the workload increase.

Both the Wheeler Smith Mortuary and Reis Family Mortuary asked to have their hours extended. SLO City Manager Derek Johnson made the emergency proclamation on Thursday.

Current city zoning rules only allow crematory and mortuary businesses to operate from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. With a surge in deaths from coronavirus in SLO County — 34 deaths in the past 14 days — mortuaries are falling behind.

Johnson plans to ask the SLO City Council to ratify his emergency proclamation at its meeting on Jan. 12.