Indiana health system gets refrigerated truck to store bodies as COVID-19 deaths rise

Listen

South Bend, Ind.-based Beacon Health System had one of its hospitals report 27 COVID-19-related deaths so far this month, a grim record it hasn't faced in earlier virus stages. Now, the health system is concerned some of their hospitals might run out of morgue space and put in a request for a morgue truck, reports local CBS affiliate WSBT.

For comparison, Elkhart General, a Beacon Health hospital facing an increase in COVID-19-related deaths, had a total of 29 coronavirus deaths from March to September.

"The sad truth is that these trucks are actually hard to get because there are so many places around the country that are looking for refrigerated trucks to serve this purpose," Michelle Bache, MD, Elkhart General's vice president of medical affairs, told WSBT. 

A spokesperson for the health system told Becker's Nov. 22 it has received the refrigerated morgue truck, but has not yet had to put it into service. As of Nov. 22, there are 174 COVID-19 patients across Beacon Health hospitals. 

The health system said not every death at their hospitals is related to COVID-19, but the increases they're seeing now worry them that it will be these deaths that test their staff and storage limits, according to WSBT

"The deeper we go into this, the harder it is to control," Dr. Bache said.

As of Nov. 22, Indiana had 3,144 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and reported 6,174 new cases, according to the COVID Tracking Project

More articles on public health:
UW Health's open letter to residents: 'We are, quite simply, out of time'
'No more lockdowns in Texas,' governor says
Holiday travel spikes despite CDC warning; Regeneron's antibody cocktail wins emergency approval — 7 COVID-19 updates

 

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars