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Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office to help funeral homes store remains

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Due to the general slowdown of funerary processes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner announced Friday that it has made 150 spaces available at the county morgue to help funeral home, mortuaries and hospitals keep up with the high demand for storage of human remains.

Pima County said its funeral home, mortuaries and hospitals have been dealing with a storage issue in the last couple weeks.

Despite Pima County's COVID-19 death total reaching 313 on Thursday, the county cited this increase in demand to a backlog in the funeral industry and was not related "with any known surge of COVID-19-related deaths".

The county said the remains stored at the medical examiner's office may include those who died from COVID-19. However, not all of remains of pandemic victims will be stored at there.

Officials said they believe this storage agreement it temporary and the examiners office is not expected to be a long-term option.

Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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