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Phoenix mayor says city is running short on morgue space amid pandemic surge

Phoenix mayor says city is running short on morgue space amid pandemic surge
Posted at 9:44 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 21:44:58-04

PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego says one area hospital is nearing capacity in its morgue and may be requesting refrigerated trucks. The morgue at the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's office is also reportedly near capacity.

Gallego said Friday morning that officials are looking at an option to prevent problems at the Phoenix-area Abrazo Health Hospital.

"It's specific just to one area…this is not a statewide problem," Gallego said. "Maricopa County... is looking at everything they can do."

Abrazo Health later issued a statement saying that they have "adequate" morgue space, but are taking "proactive" steps to ensure they have overflow morgue space if needed.

Gallego added that "we are losing too many Arizonans." She also urged Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to require mask usage throughout the state.

Gallego's office released an additional statement Friday, detailing information from the city's meetings with the "Maricopa County Unified Command Center."

The command center team shared that the Maricopa Office of the Medical Examiner is at 96% capacity and is working to "secure a contract for refrigerator trucks."

"I'm heartbroken...it's been a rough week for me," Gallego said, citing that the White House officials have said everything is under control and that she has been asking for too much support amid the fight against coronavirus.

Gallego also mentioned that Phoenix is hoping to receive federal testing support by July 16.

This story was originally published by Ashley Loose on KNXV in Phoenix.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.