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Morgue truck for Memorial Hospital as deaths spike

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 6:13 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -

COVID-19 cases continue stretch hospitals to the max, but it’s not just their hospital rooms and ICU’s, but at Memorial Hospital their morgue has begun to fill up.

COVID-19 deaths have reached a level that now Beacon Memorial is bringing in a refrigerated truck to help store the dead.

“(We) Take the best care of those patients that we can so that we prevent the deaths, (so) we don’t have the large number of people dying from COVID. We want to do everything we can to have as many people live as possible,” Dr. Dale Patterson says. He is Vice President of Medical Affairs at Memorial Hospital.

They’re saving lives at Beacon Memorial Hospital. Heroes in scrubs and white coats are on the front lines giving their all to fight a deadly virus, but unfortunately they can’t save everyone.

“At Memorial we had about 10 deaths over a 48 hour period earlier this week, and we were able to work with the funeral homes and keep the morgue from being overfull,” Dr. Patterson says.

As their morgue reaches capacity, a refrigerated truck is on the way to store excess bodies. They fear holiday gatherings could make things worse.

“As the patient numbers continue to rise we’re anticipating that we could run into some problems,” Dr. Patterson adds.

McGann-Hay Funeral homes tells me they’ve received COVID-19 casualties from Memorial Hospital and in total have seen 25 deceased COVID diagnosed individuals from various places. That includes St. Joseph Health System. Mcgann-Hay has a walk-in freezer that can accommodate a larger amount of bodies.

St Joseph Health System provided us with a graph that shows that COVID cases are on the rise. They are at 86 patients as of last count.

Memorial Hospital is also seeing high case counts. They’re having to postpone some procedures to accommodate the influx of patients.

“As the number of COVID patients has gone up, it’s over 70 today, in the hospital we’ve been able to scale back on some of the more planned admissions in order to have a place to put every patient that needs care in the hospital,” Dr. Patterson says.

The exact time that truck will arrive is not known, but Beacon Memorial says it is on the way.

This is yet another good opportunity to remind everyone to wear your mask and keep each other safe and healthy.

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