Texas officials asked for 5 new refrigerated trucks for bodies as COVID-19 cases skyrocket in the state, reports show

·2 min read
US hospital
Medical personnel move a deceased patient to a refrigerated truck serving as make shift morgues at Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 09, 2020 in New York City. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images
  • Texas officials requested 5 refrigerated trucks to hold deceased COVID-19 victims, an NBC News report shows.

  • Many hospitals in Texas are lacking available ICU space.

  • A state official said the request for mortuary trucks was a precautionary move as cases increase in the state.

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Texas officials requested five additional mortuary trucks to hold deceased COVID-19 victims, according to a recent NBC News report.

Chris Van Deusen, the spokesperson for the Department of State Health Services, told NBC News that the request for more refrigerated vehicles did not come from a specific town or hospital and was purely precautionary as cases rise in the state.

The report noted that the trucks will be sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to San Antonio, where the vehicles can be distributed to areas in need.

Approximately 14,453 people are becoming infected with COVID-19 in Texas every day according to a 7-day average from New York Times' Coronavirus tracker. The COVID-19 caseload is not the only rising statistic in Texas: approximately 160 people died of the virus on Wednesday, a 325% increase in the 14 days prior.

Medical facilities in the state are increasingly jammed and debilitated as more and more coronavirus cases overload the system. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a video that hospitals in his area are already lacking enough pediatric ICU beds.

"Your child will wait for another child to die" before getting one, Jenkins said.

Despite hospitals around the state clamoring for help and resources, Gov. Greg Abbott continues to vociferously fight against implementing vaccine mandates or re-implementing face mask mandates. Abbott signed an executive order in July that bans cities and government entities from requiring mask and vaccine mandates.

Several judges, including Jenkins, have fought against Abbott's executive order and issued mask mandates in defiance. The Texas Supreme Court sided with Abbott in a Sunday ruling that blocks masks and vaccine mandates. Still, Jenkins said he and Dallas county will act in defiance and keep its mask mandate with some slight alterations.

"We won't stop working with parents, doctors, schools, business + others to protect you," Jenkins tweeted Sunday night.

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