April 13, 2020

Around the nation: New York City eyes temporary burial ground for Covid-19 victims

Daily Briefing

    As New York's number of deaths related to the new coronavirus spikes, New York City officials say Hart Island could be used as a site for temporary interments if the number of deaths outpaces the city's morgue capacity, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, New York, and Ohio.

    • District of Columbia: HHS on Wednesday announced it will distribute $1.3 billion to 1,387 community health centers to help them combat the United States' epidemic of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The funding comes from the $2 trillion stimulus bill policymakers enact last month to address the epidemic. The money will allow the health centers to continue testing patients for the virus, which will help public health officials track its spread, and to treat low-acuity patients, which could free up capacity at local EDs (Brady, Modern Healthcare, 4/8).
    • New York: New York City has hired contract workers to help bury dead New Yorkers on Hart Island, as the state's death toll from Covid-19 continues to increase. Most people buried on Hart Island since the 19th century either had no known next of kin or no funeral arrangements. But Jason Kersten, a spokesperson for New York City's Department of Correction, and Aja Worthy-Davis, a spokesperson for the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, said Hart Island could be used as a site for temporary interments if the number of deaths outpaces the city's morgue capacity (Jackson/McDermid, Reuters, 4/9).
    • Ohio: Dan Wakeman, president and CEO of St. Luke's Hospital, is set to retire on May 31. Wakeman served as CEO of the hospital for 12 years. The hospital has yet to name a successor (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 4/9).

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