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BHB Has ‘Exceeded Regular Morgue Capacity’

Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB] today “highlighted the need for people to work together when someone dies to help manage the large numbers of deceased, following a rise in deaths related directly to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Unfortunately, there have been almost 30 Covid-related deaths in the past few weeks, with the Government announcing 19 deaths over the past seven days; ten on Sept 27, seven on Sept 24, and two on Sept 22. BHB noted that they have a “morgue that holds six spaces. Outside of a pandemic, this has been sufficient.”

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, R Scott Pearman, comments: “The increase in deaths from the Covid-19 pandemic is a tragic situation for many families, first and foremost, and we feel deeply for the grief and pain so many are feeling in our community right now.

“The high numbers are also putting pressure on the individuals and organisations who would normally support the process from death to burial or cremation, and this includes BHB.”

“Our concern is having enough space for all the deceased given the high numbers of deaths we are experiencing. We have already exceeded our regular morgue capacity and are using refrigerated overflow containers.

“BHB’s respectful goal is to maintain the dignity and safety of the deceased. For us to meet this goal, however, we need help as some individuals are left with KEMH longer than necessary and this is increasing the number of people we need to have space for.

“Reducing the number of deceased individuals held by BHB will be greatly helped by families working with their chosen funeral director so their loved ones can be picked up from KEMH and be buried or cremated with as little delay as possible. Families are going through so much when someone dies and they may not always know what has to take place for their loved one to be released from KEMH.

“We have therefore spoken to Government and funeral directors, and developed an information sheet about the process to help families as they work through all the steps that have to take place, and help them prepare for the financial implications and decisions that need to be made.”

The BHB factsheet follows below [PDF here]: