Around 45 wooden caskets - some of which had names carved into them - appeared to be lowered in freshly dug trenches on Thursday.
Historically Hart's Island or "Potter's field" has been used for people who are too poor to afford a burial, and that location would seem like a logical place to use for temporary burials however the mayor mentioned no specific locations.
Interments are typically done by inmates from the city's Rikers Island jail complex, but during the coronavirus pandemic the job has been taken over by contractors. "I have spoken to many folks in City gov't today, and received unequivocal assurance that there will be *no* burials in NYC Parks". The likelihood of a previous positive test for a person who died at home is low, since, as WNYC notes, NY has largely restricted tests to those who've required hospitalisation.
OCME can store about 800 to 900 bodies in its buildings, and has room to store about 4,000 bodies in some 40 refrigerated trucks it can dispatch around the city to hospitals, which typically have only small morgues, Worthy-Davis said.
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams wrote to Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 2 asking for more data on the virus's racial impact and for a plan to expand access to testing. And an untold number of them are unconfirmed.
A spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office said Thursday that it "does not now anticipate reaching morgue capacity".
Officials at City Hall said this week that no coronavirus victims have been buried on Hart Island to date, whether unclaimed or otherwise.
Offering a glimmer of "good news", De Blasio on Tuesday said that the number of CCP virus patients requiring ventilators has "improved in recent days". He also reiterated a call for a "national enlistment structure" for medical personnel wishing to help in New York City and other treatment locations, saying the city will need 45,000 additional front-line health workers this month.
Brooklyn undertaker Thomas Cheeseman said funeral homes are so backed up, some people will inevitably end up being temporarily interred. The announcement came as some funeral homes have been so overwhelmed, they've stopped making arrangements for mourning families.
"It is unbelievable to me that in New York State, in the United States of America, we can't make these materials and that we are all shopping from China to try to get these materials and we're all competing against each other".