Detroit's Sinai-Grace Hospital is making headlines this week via a new report from CNN that shows alleged images of body bags stacked inside a vacant room and in refrigerated trucks.
News of the hospital overwhelmed by COVID-19 deaths comes as refrigerated trucks were called in to increase the morgue's storage capacity in early April.
Brian Taylor, a spokesman for Detroit Medical Center, told Detroit Free Press on Monday that COVID-19 "has caused significantly greater than normal mortality rates in the Detroit community."
As of Tuesday, 25,635 cases have been confirmed, with 1,602 deaths in the state. Detroit and Wayne County have been the hardest-hit areas of the fast-spreading virus, claiming more than 700 lives.
CNN spoke with several emergency room workers at the hospital who confirmed the hospital system was overwhelmed with virus-related deaths.
THREAD: This is the true human cost of #COVID that you don't see on TV very often. CNN obtained photos from ER staff at a Detroit hospital, showing bodies pilled up in vacant spaces because the morgue was full. Nearly 1,500 people have died in Michigan, and 23,000 nationwide. pic.twitter.com/zqzkv1sZAB— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) April 13, 2020
Two sources said bodies were stored in at least one room that was meant as sleeping quarters for staff. The overflow of bodies was mostly due to morgue capacity was full.
"All I know is we ran out of beds to keep our patients on so we couldn't spare any for the bodies," said one ER worker, who saw the bodies stacked up in the room.
The sources said the bodies were stored in the vacant room earlier this month because refrigerated trucks to expand the morgue's storage capacity had yet to arrive.
"It was because we hadn't gotten our outside freezers yet, so those rooms had beds and the morgue people don't work overnight," said the ER worker.
On Saturday, CNN visited the hospital and discovered five refrigerated trucks in the parking lot of the hospital. A source snapped a picture from inside one of the trailers with "body bags" everywhere.
Detroit Free Press said other hospital systems in the area had deployed refrigerated trucks to store bodies.
Besides Detroit, New York City hospitals ordered 45 refrigerated trucks. And then in early April, a leaked video revealed the gruesome scene of body bags piled up at the Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan's Upper East Side.
America's hospital system appears to have been pushed to the limits as the pandemic has so far infected 582,634 people and resulted in 23,649 deaths. It remains to be seen if hospital systems will order more refrigerated trucks as Morgan Stanley is now predicting the second wave of the virus could strike around November/December.