BOSTON (AP) — Some Massachusetts lawmakers have proposed a $5 million fund to help families struggling to pay the burial costs of loved ones lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

A bipartisan proposal, backed by nearly a dozen lawmakers, would provide individual grants of up to $1,500 for qualifying families to offset burial costs, The Salem News reports.

Families of “essential workers,” such as those in health care, grocery stores or other fields, who remained on the job during the outbreak and died as a result of the virus, would be given priority.

“During this unprecedented time, the last thing folks should be worrying about is how they will cover funeral and burial expenses in the tragic event that a family member dies from COVID-19,” said state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, a Methuen Democrat.

More than 5,300 people in Massachusetts had died of the disease as of Wednesday, according to the state Department of Public Health.

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