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Huntsville, Madison Co. EMA director explains plan for body storage if hospitals are full

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 11:25 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The rising death toll and case numbers in Madison county is forcing leaders to think of a contingency plan on where to store bodies if hospitals run out of room.

Huntsville Hospital can only hold 9-10 bodies at a time in its morgue.

Huntsville-Madison, E-M-A Director Jeff Birdwell, tells us 10 funeral homes have already agreed to let hospitals store bodies if needed.

If those were to fill up, the next step would be to get a mobile unit such as a box truck.

Birdwell says we are not at that point now but we have to be ready for a worst case scenario.

“It can change quickly. you know if you just look at the numbers today in the hospital. There are I think the number is 31 in ICU, 16 of those on ventilators. Those are some sick folks. We just want to make sure we’re ready to handle that type of situation,” Jeff Birdwell said.

Birdwell also says the county could reach out to regional partners as well as the state’s emergency management department if necessary.

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