Silver Spring, Maryland – The state of Maryland adapted an ice rink as a temporary morgue to store bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials reported.
A state Health Department spokesman did not disclose the location of the “temporary mortuary facility,” but a state lawmaker said Wednesday it opened last month at Laurel’s Gardens Ice House, halfway between Baltimore and Washington, DC
Since it opened on April 17, the ice rink has received some 55 bodies, and about 30 more were transferred there today, said delegate Mary Lehman, a Democrat whose district includes Laurel. Lehman said he received the information from a contact at the state health department.RELATED
The 4,645-square-meter (150,000-square-foot) facility includes an outdoor track, an Olympic track and two more that adhere to NHL measures, according to its website.
Maryland has reported 1,338 laboratory-confirmed deaths from coronavirus as of Wednesday, and 99 other deaths whose possible cause was COVID-19.
Lehman said she learned about the temporary morgue in her district through a television reporter who called her on the phone Monday.
“At first, it took me by surprise,” he admitted. “There were indications that the state was seeking to lease space to store bodies until they could be reclaimed, because they knew it was going to be a problem. But we didn’t know where it would be. “
Lehman said his contact at the health department confirmed the location later that day.
State health department spokesman Charles Gischlar said Tuesday that the facility and county authorities asked the state not to disclose the location of the temporary morgue.