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'It’s reason for concern:' County leaders prepare for worst case scenario with mortuary refrigerator

Posted at 11:43 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 00:43:38-05

WACO, TX — We saw it in El Paso and we’re about to see it Central Texas. Waco is set to receive a portable refrigerated mortuary in preparation for a worst case scenario.

“Currently local mortuaries and funeral homes have the ability to meet this demand, but it’s important we put this trailer in place before it’s absolutely needed,” said Waco Mayor Dillon Meek.

Meek says the McLennan County has reported at least 18 COVID-19 deaths since last Thursday, pushing the county over the 200 threshold since March. He says the county has also surpassed the 15% hospitalization mark.

“When we saw other communities hit the 15% hospitalization rate that we hit last week for seven consecutive days, they started to experience mortuary and capacity problems as well about two weeks after we hit that mark,” said Meek.

Meek says the trailer can hold around 40 bodies and is in an undisclosed location. He also says it’s a FEMA truck and comes at no cost to the city.

“We’re taking this step because of that we have available,” said Meek. “It’s not a reason for alarm, but it’s reason for concern. At this time, I think it’s prudent to limit gatherings and to wear a mask, to wash our hands, to take precautions, as we know this virus spreads.”

As the CDC recommends people limit holiday travel to slow the spread, Meek says it’s best to follow their advice.