Story at a glance
- Texas and Arizona this week announced record-high seven-day averages in new deaths.
- One Texas county says the morgue is already full.
- The medical examiner’s office in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, said Monday it’s moving toward acquiring coolers and staffing because it’s currently near capacity for body storage.
Some southern states that have become coronavirus hot spots are preparing for an increase in COVID-19 deaths by requesting refrigerated trucks and trailers to hold the dead as morgues could start to run out of space.
The mobile morgues are being sent to Texas and Arizona in anticipation of a spike in coronavirus deaths, as the two states are among several that have been grappling for weeks with an increasing number of cases and hospitalizations.
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Texas and Arizona this week announced record-high seven-day averages in new deaths.
One Texas county says the morgue is already full.
“That’s why we’re asking people to wear face masks,” Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales told KRIS-TV last week. “I am now having to order additional body bags and morgue trailers. People have to understand how real it is.” The county is home to Corpus Christi.
Several other Texas counties, including Travis and Cameron, are securing refrigerated trailers in anticipation of increasing coronavirus deaths, according to the Texas Tribune.
Texas has reported more than 264,000 cases with 3,235 deaths.
Abrazo Health, a hospital in Phoenix, said recently that while the hospitals currently have adequate morgue space, the state has asked hospitals to implement emergency plans.
“Part of activating our plan includes the ability to handle overflow morgue capacity if needed,” an Abrazo spokesperson told Fox 10. “Abrazo has taken a proactive approach by ordering refrigerated storage in the event it may be needed during a surge of COVID patients. At this point it is not needed.”
The medical examiner’s office in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, said Monday it’s moving toward acquiring coolers and staffing because it’s currently near capacity for body storage.
“This is a situation that occurs almost every summer and is further complicated by the current pandemic,” the medical examiner’s office told Fox 10.
Arizona has reported more than 128,000 cases with 2,337 deaths.
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