The Marion County Emergency Operations Center is setting up a temporary morgue facility in preparation for the expected surge in COVID-19 patients.
Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Marion County Public Health Department, Virginia Caine says slowing the spread of COVID-19 and providing a high level of care for those who contract it remain the top priorities, but preparing for a potential increase in deaths is necessary.
"While we hope much of what we are planning for is never needed, we must do everything we can to ensure Indianapolis first responders, health care workers, and coroners all have the tools, personal protective equipment, and facilities they need to serve residents through any scenario,” Caine says.
Marion County has been the epicenter of Indiana's COVID-19 outbreak. As of April 8, it has recorded 2,290 cases — about 39 percent of state’s total. And of the state's 203 deaths connected to the disease, 58 have been in Marion County. Projections show Indiana's peak in daily death count will arrive around April 16.
The temporary overflow morgue, located near downtown Indianapolis, will be available beginning tomorrow and will be staffed by the Marion County Coroner’s Office. It has capacity for 750 decedents, and will be open for 24 hours per day.