Marshall County coroner activating mobile morgue units amid rising COVID-19 cases

Marshall County coroner activating mobile morgue units amid rising COVID-19 cases

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The Marshall County Coroner’s Office is once again activating the mobile morgue units.

An increase in COVID-19 cases means there could be an increase in deaths.

The Marshall County Coroner’s Office can typically hold two bodies at a time.

Chief Deputy Coroner Chris Brock says they fear they may need more space.

“Our normal capacity for Marshall county is we have storage space for two bodies. What we’re seeing now that with our active cases that we’re investigating, we are already at capacity with our normal cooler,” said Brock.

So far, 13 deaths have been confirmed in Marshall County along with more than 2,000 confirmed cases.

Marshall Medical Centers Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Woodruff said as of right now, there are a total of 35 patients with COVID-19 at both campuses.

She said with the cases steadily increasing, the mobile unit is a smart idea and helps the hospital.

“The mobile unit is important regardless of the number of deaths we have or how often they happen because neither hospital has a morgue. A lot of people make assumptions that every hospital has a morgue and that’s where we keep our patients when they pass away, but we don’t have that option,” said Woodfruff.

Brock said his office is also facing longer hold periods due to families who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

“If a person was supposed to pass away from COVID-19 they would have to go through a two-week quarantine process with the family that was exposed before they can have services. we want to help them out with storage of the bodies until they can have services with the families.”

Brock said this is the only mobile morgue unit that will just serve in Marshall County.

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