Aug 16, 2021 - Health

Texas requests mortuary trailers, expecting a surge in COVID-19 deaths

Medical assistants administer COVID-19 sampling tests

Medical assistants administer COVID-19 sampling tests last week in Houston. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Texas has requested five mortuary trailers from FEMA to help deal with an expected surge in COVID-19 deaths, NBC News reports.

The big picture: The trailers will be based in San Antonio and sent around the state as needed. Officials ordered them at the start of the month after data showed deaths in Texas are surging, Department of State Health Services spokesperson Doug Loveday told NBC.

  • "We are anticipating a need within the state of Texas for these trailers as COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to increase," Loveday said.
  • Chris Van Deusen, a spokesperson for the same agency, said the trailers were ordered as a precaution and that no localities have requested them.
Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

State of play: Texas has seen a surge in new cases, amid the spread of the Delta variant, with the state's seven-day coronavirus death rate seeing its highest levels since March 2021.

  • In North Texas, no pediatric ICU beds are left as cases surge among the young as well, NBC News reported.
  • Last week, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked hospitals to delay elective procedures to free up space for COVID-19 patients.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show Texas' seven-day coronavirus death rate is at its highest levels since March 2021 (not March 2020).

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