Henry Mayo prepared for influx of COVID-19 deaths

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Dan Watson/The Signal
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As COVID-19-related deaths increase amid the current surge, so does the need for space in which to store the dead.

With both hospitals and mortuaries inundated due to the high volume of deceased patients, both have needed to utilize back-up storage areas.

At Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, a back-up morgue has been put into use, as it’s primary morgue has reached capacity, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody. The primary morgue has capacity for eight patients, while the back-up has room for an additional 25.

Here in the SCV, Henry Mayo has reported record-level deaths the past few weeks, with nine deaths reported at the hospital this past weekend and four deaths reported since this week. 

This weekend’s death toll is the highest the hospital has reported since the onset of the pandemic, almost a year ago.  

“We have put our back-up morgue into operation to ensure all our deceased patients are treated with dignity and respect,” Moody said in a statement released Thursday.

This comes as COVID-19-related deaths have increased since the surge began in November, as Los Angeles County Public Health officials reported that the virus is killing an L.A. County resident on average every eight minutes.

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