Refrigerated trucks requested in Arizona, Texas as morgues reach capacity amid COVID-19 surge
Category: News & PoliticsVia: krishna • 3 weeks ago • 8 comments
By: The Associated Press and FOX 10 Phoenix, FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth and FOX 26 Houston contributed to this report.
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A morgue trailer, currently not in use, at the Nueces County Medical Examiner’s office in Corpus Christi on Friday. As some morgues fill up due to Texans dying with coronavirus, officials are seeking ways to increase their ability to store the bodies. (Photo credit: WFAA)
PHOENIX — Some Arizona and Texas counties are running out of space in their morgues and have put out calls for refrigerated trucks in which to store bodies and help take some pressure off of local medical examiners’ offices.
A long-expected upturn in U.S. COVID-19 deaths across the U.S. has begun, driven by fatalities in states in the South and West.
The number of deaths per day from the virus had been falling for months, and even remained down as states like Florida and Texas saw explosions in cases and hospitalizations — and reported daily U.S. infections broke records several times in recent days.
Scientists warned it wouldn’t last. A coronavirus death, when it occurs, typically comes several weeks after a person is first infected. And experts predicted states that saw increases in cases and hospitalizations would, at some point, see deaths rise too. Now that’s happening.
In Arizona, one Phoenix hospital has called for morgue trucks to help alleviate a rapidly growing death count due to the ongoing pandemic.
A spokesperson for Abrazo Health told FOX 10 Phoenix that while its hospitals currently have adequate morgue space, the state has asked hospitals to implement emergency plans.
The Arizona Department of Health Services said that 671 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators and 936 were occupying ICUs as of July 12. Hospitals were hovering around 90% capacity, according to FOX 10.
As Texas continues a weeks-long streak of setting grim records, another somber one was reached Friday as the state surpassed 3,000 lives lost to COVID-19, according to the Department of State Health Services. Just a day before that, the state reported more than 100 deaths in a single day