Sask. Coroners Service gets extra storage units to meet morgue capacity needs

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The Saskatchewan Coroners Service has obtained two refrigerated units to be used as temporary holding facilities in the event more morgue space is needed.

The units will be set up at facilities in Regina and Saskatoon and used as secure holding facilities pre or post autopsy.

Sask. reported 100 COVID-19-related deaths from Dec. 1 to Dec. 29.

Security will be present at the facilities, according to a letter sent to members of the Funeral and Cremation Services Council of Sask.

"Security is only there to provide access to the compound, vehicle and garage and will not be assisting in the transfer of the decedent," the letter said.

The storage unit temperature was to be monitored and maintained on a frequent basis.

The letter details how funeral home staff would get access to remains stored in one of the temporary facilities. Staff would attend either the Regina General Hospital or the Pasqua Hospital to obtain or provide the needed paperwork to release a body. They would then be told which off-site location a body was at.

Questions to the Funeral and Cremation Services Council of Sask. were directed to the Coroners Service.