Tent for the dead in south St. Louis ready if needed

The exact location of the temporary morgue was requested to be kept private.

Kevin Killeen
April 15, 2020 - 2:35 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A white tent has been raised in the parking lot of a crematorium in south St. Louis. It's a pop-up morgue ready in case there's a surge of deaths caused by COVID-19 in the region. 

The dead would only be cremated if those are the family's wishes, says St. Louis Emergency Management Agency commissioner Gary Christman. The others would be held here on refrigerated shelving until the time of a funeral. 

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The capacity is 100 bodies and will only be needed if the city morgue, which can hold up to 50 bodies at a time, becomes overloaded. 

The exact location of the temporary morgue was requested to be kept private.

At this time, Christman says there are no plans for any mass burials or to dig a trench to place coronavirus victims in St. Louis. 

County Executive Sam Page told media on Monday that they were working on building a temporary morgue because of the increase in deaths due to the coronavirus. He said the resource would be something for "the region" to use and not just St. Louis County.

The county’s permanent morgue is a one-story building in Berkeley, with a capacity of 20 bodies. 

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