Officials in Texas and Arizona have requested refrigerated trucks to hold the dead as hospitals and morgues become overwhelmed by victims of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the hospital, there are only so many places to put bodies,” Ken Davis, chief medical officer of Christus Santa Rosa Health System in the San Antonio area, said in a briefing this week. “We're out of space, and our funeral homes are out of space, and we need those beds. So, when someone dies, we need to quickly turn that bed over.
“Its a hard thing to talk about,” Davis added. “People's loved ones are dying."
Overall, Texas is seeing a surge in hospitalizations and deaths among people infected with the coronavirus—and reports of new infections are still on the rise. On Wednesday alone, the state reported 10,791 new cases, bringing the total to over 282,000 cases. The state has reported over 3,400 deaths so far.
Several other areas in the state have ordered, bought, or are seeking refrigerated trucks or trailers to hold bodies. That includes Nueces, Cameron, Travis, Hidalgo, and Harris counties, as well as the city of Austin, according to The Texas Tribune.
The picture is not looking much better in Arizona, were hospitalizations and deaths are also spiking. The state, which has counted over 134,000 cases and 2,492 deaths, has reached 90 percent capacity of its beds for adult intensive care patients. The mayor of Phoenix said late last week that the city is working to secure refrigerator trucks.
A similar scenario may play out in Florida, which is also reporting record numbers of cases and deaths. In recent days, the state has had record highs, with over 15,300 cases on July 12 and 156 deaths today. Around 50 hospitals in the state have run out of adult beds in their intensive care units, according to the Agency for Healthcare Administration.
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