Thursday, 16 April 2020

Officials scout ice rinks as potential makeshift morgues amid coronavirus deaths north of Detroit

Officials in Detroit are looking into using ice rinks as makeshift morgues.
Officials in Detroit are looking into using ice rinks as makeshift morgues.(Shutterstock)

Officials in suburban Detroit are scouting ice rinks to potentially store bodies during the coronavirus pandemic, an Oakland County Medical Examiner official said.
The rinks would be used if the county morgue runs out of space and the overflow refrigerated units being used by hospitals also reach capacity, ME spokesperson Casimir Miarka told the Detroit Free Press.
Miarka said the coroner’s office is working with the state to get more mobile morgues sent to local hospitals, but it would consider converting ice arenas as well if the situation becomes dire.
“That’s our very last resort,” Miarka said. “We hope we would never get to that point.”
The county morgue accepted custody of 10 bodies Wednesday from a hospital whose own morgue hit capacity, the first such instance since the coronavirus pandemic hit Michigan in March, county spokesman Bill Mullan said.
“We’re still in the thick of this fight. Our M.E. now has to help with storage,” he said, according to the newspaper.
Miarka said he could not confirm the cause of death for the bodies taken in Wednesday.
The county morgue already has two refrigerated units on its premises to store bodies brought in by area hospitals, the Free Press reported.
Each mobile morgue can hold about 20 to 25 bodies.

Officials discussed the worst-case morgue scenario the same day hundreds gathered in the state’s capitol in Lansing to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order.

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