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NYC Council Health Chair Says City Will Use Parks to Bury Bodies of Coronavirus Victims

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New York City council health committee chairman Mark D. Levine claimed on Monday that the city will soon start to bury coronavirus victims in mass graves at a city park due to shortages of morgue and funeral home space.

“NYC’s healthcare system is being pushed to the limit. And sadly, now so is the city’s system for managing our dead,” declared Levine in a series of Twitter posts, noting that New York City’s morgues, funeral homes, and cemeteries are having to deal with “the equivalent of an ongoing 9/11.”

“Every part of this system is now backed up,” he explained. “A typical hospital morgue might hold 15 bodies. Those are now all full. So OCME has sent out 80 refrigerated trailers to hospitals around the city. Each trailer can hold 100 bodies. These are now mostly full too. Some hospitals have had to add a 2nd or even a 3rd trailer.”

“Grieving families report calling as many as half a dozen funeral homes and finding none that can handle their deceased loved ones,” Levine claimed. “Cemeteries are not able to handle the number of burial requests and are turning most down… And still the number of bodies continues to increase. The freezers at OCME facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn will soon be full. And then what?”

Levine then claimed that, “Soon we’ll start ‘temporary interment’. This likely will be done by using a NYC park for burials (yes you read that right). Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line.”

“It will be done in a dignified, orderly–and temporary–manner. But it will be tough for NYers to take,” he continued, adding that the city’s goal “is to avoid scenes like those in Italy, where the military was forced to collect bodies from churches and even off the streets.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed on Monday that the city “may well be dealing with temporary burials.”

“We have the capacity but it’s going to be very tough. I don’t want to go into detail because I don’t think it’s a great thing to be talking about publicly,” he continued.

UPDATE: In a follow-up tweet, Levine commented, “This tweet has gotten a lot of attention. So I want to clarify: this is a contingency NYC is preparing for BUT if the death rate drops enough it will not be necessary.”

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