Refrigerated trucks are on standby to hold bodies in San Antonio, officials say

Christus Santa Rosa doctor says they are running out of space

As COVID-19 deaths continue, hospitals are running out of space to hold dead bodies.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio officials reported Monday that refrigerated trucks are on standby as hospitals and morgues run out of space for bodies.

Chief Medical Officer for CHRISTUS Health South Texas Dr. Ken Davis said “people’s loved ones are dying.”

“It’s a hard thing to talk about,” Davis said. “People’s loved ones are dying. In the hospital, there are only so many places to put bodies of the loved ones and we’re out of space. Our funeral homes are out of space.”

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg revealed Monday night that refrigerated trucks are on standby in case San Antonio hospitals run out of space for people and bodies.

“So we’re looking our self for refrigerator trucks to put bodies and to hold them until the morgue or the funeral home can come pick them up,” Davis said. “Which sounds terrible, but it’s true.”

Davis said to help make hospital beds available to those who really need it, some COVID-19 patients who are not severely sick are sent home with oxygen and are monitored.

San Antonio reported 11 new deaths and 565 new cases of COVID-19. Nirenberg said the city will face a serious situation and will be forced to shut down activities if numbers continue to trend as they are.

“If these numbers continue in the same direction as they have been over the last couple of weeks, we’re going to be forced in a situation that nobody wants to see, which is to shut down activities,” Nirenberg said. “We can stop that if we work together.”

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Locals like San Antonio resident Rebecca Rodriguez have mixed opinions about another shutdown.

“I don’t think an additional shutdown or a rollback is necessary,” Rodriguez said. “I think it’s going to really hurt businesses. I think people can’t support their families. They can’t support their livelihood. I think it’s going to do a lot more harm than good.”

Luz Antonlinez, another San Antonio resident, said some establishments can openly safely if proper precautions are followed.

“I think if everybody wears the mask in public places, some of the establishments can open safely,” Antolinez. “But, I personally think bars cannot open safely.”

About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.