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Marshall County Coroner's Office to reactivate mobile morgue units as number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths spike

The Marshall County Coroner's Office asked people to continue following CDC and ADPH guidelines.

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. — The Marshall County Coroner's Office is reactivating its mobile morgue units after seeing a "dramatic increase in the number of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic," according to a Facebook post.

Chief Deputy Coroner for Marshall County, Chris Brock, said, "Normally, without a pandemic going on, we don't have an issue with storage."

RELATED: City of Athens holding drive-thru COVID-19 testing on multiple dates in July

As of Tuesday, July 14th, 12 people in Marshall County have died from the virus. On Tuesday, Marshall Medical Centers announced they have 35 COVID-19 patients in their hospitals.

Marshall Medical's COVID-19 Update: Sometimes a picture speaks much ... louder than words. This graph demonstrates the recent and dramatic rise in the number of patients being treated at Marshall Medical Centers for COVID-19. Today, there are 27 confirmed COVID-19 positive inpatients between the two hospitals in the Marshall Medical Centers system.

The mobile unit can hold dozens of bodies. The coroners office has storage space for only two bodies, and right now, they're both being used.

They say the morgue unit is part of a precautionary plan, and with the new spike in cases, they want to be ready.

"We don't have expectations for a certain number of people to pass from the virus," said Brock. "We've seen that the death percentages have decreased with the virus which is always good, but we also have to be prepared."

RELATED: MCSO addresses inmate safety during the pandemic

Brock says the unit will help funeral homes. Because families of people who die from the virus may have to quarantine for two weeks, bodies will likely have to be held longer than normal.

"We want to be able to help them out with storage of the bodies until they can have the services with the family," said Brock.

This is the second time they have brought in the mobile unit since the pandemic. It was not used the first time.

"As the virus is spreading, it's getting to nursing homes and things of that nature," said Brock. "We have a more susceptible population getting sick. We have to be prepared for anything that may arise. That's our job, to be prepared for anything."

They say the mobile morgue unit will stay in place until there is a decrease in cases.

RELATED: Huntsville Hospital canceling some elective surgeries as COVID-19 cases rise

Additionally, the Marshall County Coroner's Office asked people to continue following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

IN OTHER NEWS: Coronavirus in Decatur: Mask ordinance goes into effect on July 13


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