COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As the number of COVID-19 deaths continues to rise, OhioHealth has placed a refrigerated mobile morgue outside of Grove City Methodist Hospital.
Katie Logan, an OhioHealth spokesperson, sent the following statement in regards to the morgue:
“In an effort to expand our morgue capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have recently brought in a refrigerated mobile morgue, which is housed at OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital. As one of our newest facilities, Grove City Methodist has the external power sources required to support this type of equipment.
“This precautionary measure is due to a variety of factors, including rising deaths from COVID-19 statewide, as well as funeral home delays. We continue to follow our standard work on caring for deceased patients and are coordinating with the postmortem center. All hospital systems across the state have been encouraged by Emergency Management Agencies to expand their morgue capacities in anticipation of potential surges and increased numbers of fatalities.
“Our sincere thoughts are with all families who have lost a loved one from COVID-19. We remind the public the pandemic is very much still here and ask that community members continue to avoid gatherings, social distance, wear a mask and wash their hands to help slow the spread.”OhioHealth spokesperson Katie Logan
According to Logan, the mobile morgue has not been used. If needed, she said it would be used by all of OhioHealth’s facilities.
A spokesperson for Mount Carmel said there are no mobile morgues at its facilities, but officials there are working with Franklin County Emergency Managemen, in the event one is needed.
As of this writing, a spokesperson for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center did not say if that system had one.
Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security spokesperson Kelly McGuire said the county is urging hospitals to have a plan in place in case a mobile morgue is needed.
McGuire added that the agency has been working on a mass fatality plan with the area’s hospitals several years before the pandemic.