Portable morgues have been sent to 14 hospital systems in Central Florida as hospitals and crematoriums hit capacity due to a surge in Covid cases linked to the highly-contagious Delta variant.
During a Covid-19 update on Thursday Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said: ‘The Florida Hospital Association is reporting over 16,700 people are currently hospitalized in the state of Florida. The Hospital Association also reports that this number is nearly two thirds higher than the previous peak of hospitalizations in July of 2020.
‘Thirty six per cent of all patients and hospitals have the coronavirus. In addition, 55 per cent of those in the ICUs, or intensive care units, have the disease.’
In the past seven days there have been an average of 21,534 new cases and 212 reported deaths, compared to 15,818 infections and 58 fatalities this time last month, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
Despite the inflated number of infections and hospitalizations Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued executive orders banning mask mandates and vaccine passports for certain businesses.
Only 53.8 per cent of Florida’s population is fully vaccinated.
Portable morgues (pictured in file photo) have been sent to 14 hospital systems in Central Florida as hospitals and crematoriums hit capacity due to a surge in Covid cases linked to the highly-contagious Delta variant
The Central Florida Disaster Medical Coalition said each hospital system will be sent different amounts of portable morgues depending on the size of the facility
The Central Florida Disaster Medical Coalition said each hospital system will be sent different amounts of portable morgues depending on the size of the facility.
Three will go to Advent Health and Orlando Health while only one will be sent to Orlando Health, Leesburg, HCA-East Florida, HCA-North Florida, Steward, Cleveland Clinic and Health First.
Demings also confirmed hospital morgues are at capacity and announced a seven-day extension of the state of emergency order at the 150th Covid update since March of last year:
Kimberly Mitchell, the owner of Mitchell’s Funeral Home – a crematorium in Orlando – told News 6: ‘Covid has never gone away. As you can see the hospitals are starting to run out of room.’
Mitchell also said that the funeral home is running out of room in the refrigerators used to store dead bodies.
‘It is still important that we pull together, get vaccinated and mask up to get a handle on the surge that we’re presently experiencing,’ Demings said.
‘There are now more than 192,000 coronavirus cases reported in Orange County… But for the first time in quite a while now, our new cases are under 1,000 in one day,’ he added.
According to the mayor’s Covid update more than 16,700 people are currently hospitalized in the state of Florida and 36 per cent of those patients have the virus
‘Fifty five per cent of those in the ICUs, or intensive care units, have the disease,’ Demings reported
‘In fact, yesterday, 815 new cases were reported. That’s still not a good number but it is trending in the right direction. The number of deaths in Orange County now stands at 1,482, which is eight more than we reported on Monday of this week. Sadly I have to report that two additional Orange County employees die this week of Covid-related illnesses.’
But Florida isn’t the only state resorting to portable morgues. A mobile morgue was set up in Brooklyn, New York, last month and housed around 200 bodies in it to help deal with New York’s Covid fatalities.
NYC officials were also preparing to bury the remains of those held in the refrigerated truck trailers being held on Hart Island, which is a public cemetery used to bury unclaimed dead or for people who can’t afford burials.
On Friday the US recorded 135,245 cases of Covid-19 with a seven-day rolling average of 151,005, a 145 per cent increase from the 61,451 average reported four weeks ago
Deaths have also risen with 1,405 virus-related fatalities recorded on Friday and a seven-day rolling average of 1,043, a 320 per cent spike from the average of 248 reported 28 days ago
Horrifying aerial photos of 50 refrigerated trucks filled with 650 unclaimed bodies of people who had died from the virus surfaced in November of last year. The trucks were parked along a Brooklyn waterfront, neatly lined in the parking lot of the 39th Street Pier in Sunset Park, which was dubbed the ‘disaster morgue’.
In May, NYC officials revealed 750 bodies of virus victims – 100 more than originally reported – had been in the refrigerated trucks for up to a full year, since the makeshift morgue was set up in April 2020. Some families even ignored requests to reclaim their relatives’ remains.
Meanwhile, the Delta variant has been bringing on a raging fourth wave of the pandemic that’s sweeping the entire country.
Some 50 freezer trucks parked on the 39th Street Pier in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn have been converted into makeshift morgues that are storing 650 unclaimed bodies of Covid-19 fatalities
In May, NYC officials revealed 750 bodies of virus victims – 100 more than originally reported – had been in the refrigerated trucks for up to a full year, since the makeshift morgue was set up in April 2020
On Tuesday, the US recorded 135,245 cases of Covid-19 with a seven-day rolling average of 151,005 – a 145 per cent increase from the 61,451 average reported four weeks ago, and the highest figure seen since January.
Last week cases had grown by 207 per cent in one month and the week prior, the increase 393 per cent.
Deaths are also on the rise with 1,405 virus-related fatalities recorded on Tuesday and a seven-day rolling average of 1,043 – the fourth day in a row the average has surpassed four figures.
This marks a 320 per cent increase from the average of 248 reported 28 days prior and the highest number reported since March 22.
Meanwhile hospitals are facing surges of patients with more than three-quarters of all intensive care unit beds (ICU) in use, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).