With space for bodies running out, morgue trailers are now being put into use in several areas of Texas.
Refrigerated trucks have been requested for counties in the Rio Grande Valley, one of the state’s hot spots for increasing COVID-19 cases.
A little farther north, Corpus Christi’s morgue is full.
“That’s why we’re asking people to wear face masks,” said Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales in a story aired by KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi. “I am now having to order additional body bags and morgue trailers. People have to understand how real it is.”
A refrigerated truck was spotted outside a hospital in the Houston area, and Austin and Travis County, which have held the nation’s title for highest number of COVID-19 tests being positive, have also put out the call for extra capacity to deal with an anticipated mounting body count.
Texas set a new record for positive COVID-19 cases over the weekend, and hospitalizations show no sign of reversing their upward trajectory.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo have called for another shutdown to help flatten the curve in the Houston area. They do not have the authority to take action on their own. That decision is the sole responsibility of Gov. Greg Abbott.
Not only do we need a stay home order now, but we need to stick with it this time until the hospitalization curve comes down, not just flattens,” Hidalgo tweeted. “Many communities that persevered in that way are reopening for the long haul. Let’s learn from that & not make the same mistake twice.”
Abbott has said the death count will continue to rise in the coming weeks. He has threatened another lockdown if people do not heed his mandatory face mask requirement.