Hospital brings back mobile morgue as COVID cases surge

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Stormont Vail moved a ‘mobile morgue’ unit into place outside its Topeka hospital Monday as they deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases.

A spokesperson told 13 NEWS it is not currently needed, but they want to be prepared for where the numbers are trending.

Stormont also took this precautionary measure last November. At that time, the hospital had COVID-positive inpatient numbers top 100, and they saw 22 COVID-related deaths alone in a single week.

Monday, Stormont was caring for 48 COVID-positive inpatients. The number is up from single digits the first week in July.

The mobile morgue is the latest in a series of moves Stormont has made as it works to balance increased demand from patients with all sorts of serious health issues, versus a shortage of staff.

The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis campus is not increasing its morgue capacity at this time. A spokesperson for the Topeka hospital said their incident command team has discussed what it would need to do should the need arise.

TUKHS St. Francis was caring for 20 COVID-positive inpatients Monday. They had only one or two a day back in early July.

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