Hospital increases morgue capacity by renting refrigerated trailer


SARASOTA, FL – To increase the capacity of its mortuary, the Sarasota Memorial Hospital has rented a refrigerated trailer, as hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 continue to rise in the hospital system.

“We have hired a refrigerated trailer as a precaution to increase the capacity of our mortuary in case it becomes necessary during this fourth wave of the pandemic. The trailer is not in use at the moment,” wrote Kim Savage, manager. of SMH’s public information. in an email to Patch.

In recent weeks, the Sarasota Memorial has continued to break records for hospital patients with coronavirus.

As of Monday, 274 COVID-19 positive patients were currently being cared for by the hospital system, according to SMH’s daily coronavirus update. Of these, 48 were in intensive care.

Since the start of the pandemic, the hospital has recorded 322 deaths – including four deaths since Sunday.

During the week of August 13-19, 2,772 new coronavirus cases and an 18.6% positivity rate of new cases were reported in Sarasota County, according to the ministry’s COVID-19 Weekly Status Report of Florida Health for this period.

In a statement sent to the Sarasota County School Board on Friday, Dr. Manuel Gordillo, medical director of infection prevention and control, said Sarasota Memorial set another record number of cases that day.

“No sign of slowing down. Opening schools could exacerbate the upward trend,” he wrote, calling this wave of COVID-19 a “public health crisis leading to a crisis in healthcare delivery. health like we’ve never seen before ”.

As a result, the Sarasota memorial “is packed,” Gordillo warned in a video shared with local media Thursday.

He said about 90% of COVID-19 patients who seek hospital care are not vaccinated. They also see a range of ages affected by the virus.

“It’s a much larger age group,” he said. “We have seen children and we see teenagers, but the majority of patients are probably between 30 and 90 years old … So we are seeing a lot more young people coming to the hospital with more advanced disease or more. more rapidly progressing form of the disease.

He thanked the Sarasota Memorial staff for their work during this stressful time as they were “under incredible pressure”.

Gordillo said, “I can’t say enough for our staff. Our staff have been heroic, resilient, dedicated, very professional and compassionate. You can’t run out of adjectives to describe them.”

He encourages the community to get vaccinated to prevent the spread of the virus. While there are groundbreaking cases – cases where fully vaccinated people test positive for COVID-19 – for the most part, the vaccine prevents people from going to the hospital when they get sick.

“The vaccines do what they’re supposed to do, which is keep you from dying, which keeps you from getting sick in the hospital. They work as prescribed and as the doctor did. ordered, ”Gordillo said.

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