People in New York who have died from the coronavirus and not been claimed by anyone could be buried on Hart Island, east of the Bronx, officials told CNN today.
“For decades, Hart Island has been used to lay to rest decedents who have not been claimed by family members. We will continue using the Island in that fashion during this crisis and it is likely that people who have passed away from Covid-19 who fit this description will be buried on the Island in the coming days,” said NYC Mayor Press Secretary Freddi Goldstein.
“These are people who, for two weeks, we have not been able to find anyone who says ‘I know that person, I love that person, I will handle the burial,’” she said. “These are people who we have made zero contact with the family.”
If morgue officials make contact with a relative of a deceased person within 14 days, the body will not be moved to Hart Island, said Goldstein. This is part of the city’s plan to ensure they have morgue space during the pandemic.
Prison inmates won't be tasked with burying people on Hart Island, as they once were, said the Department of Corrections Press Secretary on Tuesday. Inmate labor on the island has been suspended for social distancing purposes.