Report: Texas counties request refrigerated trucks; cases top 275K

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People wait inside their vehicles in line at a COVID-19 testing site Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Houston. Texas has surpassed 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time as a resurgence of the outbreak rages across the U.S. The record high of 10,028 confirmed cases Tuesday follows Republican Gov. Greg Abbott decision to mandate masks in much of the state and to close bars, retreating from what had been one of America’s fastest reopenings. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Some counties in Texas have requested refrigerated trucks as morgues are reaching capacity, according to a Tuesday report.

According to a report from FOX 4 [KDFW-TV] in Dallas-Fort Worth, Nueces County, Austin County, Travis County, Hidalgo, and Cameron County have all requested refrigerated trucks.

“That’s why we’re asking people to wear face masks,” Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales told local media. “I am now having to order additional body bags and morgue trailers. People have to understand how real it is.”

In Nueces County, the morgue is already at full capacity, and Nueces County Medical Examiner Dr. Adel Shaker has requested an extra morgue trailer to help with the overflow, according to the Texas Tribune.

“We have seen very few deaths for the first few months of the pandemic, so the FEMA trailer was placed in another city. But the need is here now,” he said.

Austin and Travis County are “in the process of procuring a refrigerated truck to face the surge in COVID-19 deaths,” Travis County public information officer Hector Nieto said.

“Our hope is we never have to use it,” he told the newspaper. In addition, Hidalgo County announced on Friday that they too will be requesting a refrigerated FEMA trailer and will be sharing it with neighboring Cameron County.

On Tuesday, there were 10,745 new cases added, pushing Texas over the 275,000 mark for a total of 275,058 since the pandemic began. There were also 87 deaths, and hospitalizations increased by 164.

There have been 142,398 recoveries and 3,322 deaths, which means there are 129,338 active cases in the state. According to the Texas State Department of Health Services, 40.5% of the fatalities from COVID-19 in the state have come in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Over 10,000 cases include residents of nursing home or assisted living facilities, the health services department says.