AdventHealth morgues reach capacity due to COVID-19 deaths

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Central Florida Division of AdventHealth has reached capacity at its hospital morgues due to an influx of COVID-19 patients, the organization said in an email.

“We have begun utilizing rented, refrigerated coolers at 10 of our campuses throughout Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, & Volusia counties,” the email said. “These coolers are quickly becoming filled also.”

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AdventHealth officials said the backup is believed to be due to a slowdown at local funeral homes, “which is causing us to hold decedents for a longer period of time.”

Officials have been in contact with regional hospital disaster coalitions, and a request for assistance has been forwarded to the Florida Hospital Association. The division is unable to request assets such as FEMORS due to there being no disaster declaration for the state.

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In a prepared statement, AdventHealth said:

“We have a robust emergency management program, which has allowed us to continue to care for our community during this surge with thorough planning and precautionary measures. With the spike of seriously ill patients in our hospitals, it’s prudent that we prepare for an increase in deaths and are putting resources in place to provide additional capacity if needed.”

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Orlando Health said it is not experiencing the same issue.

Channel 9 asked Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office if he was considering a disaster declaration so these hospitals can request help, but has not heard back.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.