Newton County to purchase mobile morgue

A Mobile Morgue Being Used In Texas

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. – A mobile morgue unit will soon be under the command of the Newton County coroner.

Newton County commissioners say that they’re making the purchase with CARES Act funds following a request from Freeman and Mercy hospitals which are concerned about rising COVID-19 rates.

“They wanted the bodies removed so they were not in the room so they could properly clean the room, because hospitals are full,” said Newton County Commissioner Bill Reibold.

But county commissioners want to make things clear. The purchase is a preemptive measure against the pandemic and not a response to a Coronavirus emergency in the 4-State area.

“That doesn’t mean the deaths are increasing. The positive rate is increasing. We do know that. We do understand that Southwest Missouri is kind of a hot area. But we’re not experiencing more deaths however, and so that needs to be understood,” said Commissioner Reibold.

The Newton County coroner tells KOAM that he applauds the commissioners for making the purchase, and says the mobile morgue will be helpful during natural disasters and other post-pandemic emergencies. He also says it will be available to hospitals throughout the 4-State area.

Commissioner Reibold says the mobile morgue should be purchased by next Tuesday or Wednesday.