14 portable morgues head to Central Florida hospitals to help with overflow of COVID-19 deaths

Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) — Central Florida hospitals are dealing with an overflow of COVID-19 deaths.

The Central Florida Disaster Medical Coalition is sending 14 portable morgues to area hospitals to help make room.

The following hospitals have been allocated portable morgues:

  • AdventHealth
  • Halifax
  • Orlando Health
  • Leesburg
  • HCA-East Florida
  • HCA – North Florida
  • Steward
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Health First

AdventHealth and Orlando Health have both been allocated three portable morgues each.

An email obtained by our NBC affiliate, WESH 2 News, Thursday confirmed that the Central Florida Division of AdventHealth has reached the capacity of hospital morgues due to the influx of COVID-19 patients.

The email from AdventHealth says the hospital system has begun using rented, refrigerated coolers at 10 campuses in Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, and Volusia counties, adding those coolers are also becoming filled.

The email said, “We believe this backup is due to a throughput slowdown at local funeral homes which is causing us to hold decedents for a longer period of time.”

The hospital says in the message they are in contact with regional hospital disaster coalitions and a request for assistance has also been made to the Florida Hospital Association.

“Since there is no disaster declaration for the state, we are unable to request assets such as FEMORS, but they are being contacted for guidance,” the email said.

The latest report from the state says nearly 44,000 Floridians died during the pandemic, more than 1,700 than last week’s report.

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