Morgue trailer arrives after COVID-19 death spike

Posted at 8:29 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 21:33:56-04

As the number of COVID-19-related deaths continues to climb, room at the Nueces County Medical Examiner's Office and hospitals is running out, prompting county Judge Barbara Canales to request a morgue trailer from FEMA.

The trailer, which arrived Sunday, can hold up to 50 bodies and is equipped with temperature checks and alerts to notify the medical examiner's office if there are any problems inside the trailer.

It currently is being stored in a building at the Richard M. Borchard Fairgrounds in Robstown, and will allow bodies to be stored properly until they can be transferred to the morgue.

"It was requested for our region," Canales said. "It is a little bit smaller than the one we had before, but it is a very good resource and asset for our medical examiner and our entire region because we take care of so many other counties as well."

Nueces County currently has a trailer, but it is currently in need of repair -- a problem Canales said the county is in the process of having remedied.

"So, both . . . (have) technology that has been ordered and received so we should have that this week," Canales said. "That is -- our smaller trailer. It has smaller capability.

This morgue trailer -- the county's second -- will not only be used for patients which have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

The trailer will stay inside the fairgrounds for as long as the county needs.

“Resources are very limited right now, and we must keep the trailer as long as we see that there is a foreseeable need," Canales said.

With the rise of COVID-19 cases, Canales continues to inform the community to wear their face masks, stay protected, and limit social gatherings.