Mississippi community brings in cooler to store dead bodies

Published 1:32 pm Saturday, July 25, 2020

After a surge in coronavirus deaths in the Jackson area, officials are now bringing in a refrigerated cooler to help store bodies awaiting autopsies.

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said told the Clarion Ledger earlier this week that the area is facing an influx of not only coronavirus patients, but victims of homicides, car crashes and other fatalities. Both hospital morgues and private facilities are at capacity, the coroner said.

Hinds County has seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state at 4,261. Around 80 people have died in the Jackson area of the virus. As of July 21, there have been 57 homicides in Jackson since the beginning of the year.

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Mississippi has a population of about 3 million. The Health Department said Saturday that the state has had at least 50,444 confirmed cases and at least 1,443 deaths from the coronavirus as of Friday evening. That was an increase of 1,434 cases and 17 deaths from numbers reported the day before.

At least 3,317 cases of the virus have been confirmed in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, with at least 682 virus-related deaths in those facilities, the department said.

The true number of virus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick. While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.