At New York City’s Bellevue Hospital, a makeshift morgue including tents and refrigerated trucks is being set up in preparation for what may be a surge in the need for autopsies.
"We're in a public health crisis, and the city has declared a state of emergency. As part of that declaration, agencies like OCME have enacted emergency contingency plans to help prepare for every possible outcome,” New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said in a statement to CNN.
A similar plan was utilized after September 11 attacks.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has a request from New York and other states for assistance in mortuary operations.
“FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) has received requests for HHS Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORT) from the States of Hawaii, New York, and North Carolina. These requests are currently in the review and approval process,” a FEMA spokesperson told CNN.
New York City has longstanding contracts with companies to also provide refrigerated trucks to store bodies, but that plan has not been put in to effect just yet. If and when it is, those trucks would likely be stationed at various locations including makeshift hospitals such as the Javits Center.
CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield contributed to this report.