Spike in COVID-19 cases leads to Northeast Arkansas buying mobile morgue

Northeast Arkansas purchases mobile morgue trailer because of spike in COVID-19 cases

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Northeast Arkansas and deaths rising in the state, the NEA Healthcare Coalition bought a mobile morgue trailer in case hospitals or morgues become overwhelmed.

The trailer was purchased with the help of a Health and Human Services COVID-19 grant.

Readiness and Response Coordinator T.L. Davis says that it all depends on the public to determine if the trailer will be used. He says cases, and unfortunately, deaths are expected to spike after the holidays.

Davis works with local hospitals to spot problems and make preparations. They spotted a gap in the response phase. As a coalition, they decided the best way to respond to this gap was to purchase a morgue trailer.

It will be able to serve all 14 hospitals in the region and will be deployed in the case of a mass casualty.

“If people don’t continue to social distance, mask up, wash their hands, as we’re seeing, you’re going to see the surges. That’s going to continue to happen, and if the hospitals get overwhelmed, then there’s a potential that the hospitals will need to request this,” said Davis.

Davis says that it is better to be proactive for mass casualties rather than being reactive.

The trailer will be stored at the NEA Healthcare Coalition warehouse in Jonesboro.

It will be four weeks until they receive it from Illinois. Morgue trailers like this one take about 10 weeks to build.

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