It's back! Vote for the Best of Detroit. Polls open until Sept. 4.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Oakland County deploys mobile morgues as coronavirus strains hospitals

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2020 at 1:47 PM

click to enlarge Body of deceased patient in orange bag moved from hospital to refrigerator truck serving as temporary morgue outside of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn. - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Shutterstock.com
  • Body of deceased patient in orange bag moved from hospital to refrigerator truck serving as temporary morgue outside of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Oakland County has set up two mobile morgues as hospitals begin to run out of space to store bodies.

At least one hospital is already storing bodies in one of two refrigerated units behind the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office in Pontiac.



“We drafted a plan (to store bodies) hoping we never would have to use it,” Casimir Miarka, administrator of the county’s medical examiner’s office, tells Metro Times. “Obviously we’re using it now.”

If the situation worsens, the county may resort to storing bodies in an ice arena.

“We hope we don’t have to get to the point,” Miarka says.

Each refrigerated unit can store 20 to 24 bodies, Miarka says.

Hospitals are responsible for storing bodies in their own morgues, but the coronavirus outbreak is taxing their ability to accommodate the dead.

County officials said the situation underscores how serious the outbreak continues to be.

“There are still serious issues out here,” Miarka says. “Follow what your health officers are telling you to do to maintain social distance.”

Wayne County also said it's preparing to deploy mobile morgues.

Across Michigan, the coronavirus has claimed more than 1,700 lives and infected 27,000 people. Earlier this week, photos showing bodies piling up at Detroit's Sinai-Grace Hospital made national headlines.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

August 12, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit