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Pima County Medical Examiner's office to store bodies, citing backlog in funeral homes

County says move is not directly connected to COVID-19 deaths
Posted at 3:57 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 22:05:14-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Pima County Medical Examiner's office says it will begin using excess capacity in its morgue to store bodies for local funeral homes and hospitals, but that the move isn't directly connected to COVID-19 deaths.

The county says capacity at other morgues has become an issue in recent weeks not due to a sudden influx of people who have died from COVID-19, but due to a slowdown in funerary processing more generally.

The Medical Examiner's office says its morgue has the capacity to store 150 bodies in addition to its usual storage needs. The human remains stored at the facility may include some who have died of the coronavirus, but not all are victims of the pandemic.

In a news release Friday, the county said it does not anticipate the change will be long-term.

On Friday, no new deaths of those sick with COVID-19 were reported in Pima County.

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