DHS is warned NYC morgues are near capacity: report
A DHS official and a second person familiar with the situation told Politico that morgues in the city are on track to reach capacity next week. Another person familiar with the situation said some of the city's hospital morgues became full over the past seven days.
But city officials say the city has enacted plans to ready itself for "every possible outcome."
"We're in a public health crisis, and the city has declared a state of emergency," a city hall official said. "As part of that declaration, agencies like OCME have enacted emergency contingency plans to help prepare for every possible outcome."
Aja Worthy-Davis, a spokeswoman for the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), told Politico the concerns presented by the officials might be unfounded. She told The Hill she stands by those statements.
"We don't want people to be alarmed and think the morgues are running out of space," she told The Hill, stating that is not the case as the city expands its capacity.
OCME in Manhattan can hold up to 900 bodies, and every borough of the city has its own morgue, she said, according to Politico.
A former senior administration official told the news outlet that if the morgues hit capacity, the federal government can step in to help. The George W. Bush administration gave mortuary assistance after Hurricane Katrina and 9/11, the official said.