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22 Bodies Moved To Leased Coolers At Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office

As the death rate continues to increase in Maricopa County from the coronavirus, the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office has begun using the temporary coolers it leased several weeks ago.

As of Wednesday, 22 bodies had been transferred to the coolers.

Rob Rowley with Maricopa County Emergency Management says these coolers were introduced to help the medical examiner’s office deal with capacity issues. 

“Based on our plan we decided to activate the temporary morgue site and move completed [Office of the Medical Examiner] cases into the temporary morgue site and these are decedents that are awaiting pickup from the funeral home system,” Rowley said. 

Also, because of the pandemic, Rowley says there’s been a sharp increase in overall deaths in the county, compared to last year.

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Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.