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Marathon County has mobile morgue on standby

Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 7:09 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Marathon County is seeing another surge in COVID-19 cases, which is nearly quadrupled the amount seen in October.

The news of a mobile morgue being in Marathon County started to make the news. But the Marathon County Emergency Management officials say they have had the refrigerated trailer since it was donated in April. During the spring, Marathon County Emergency Management noticed they were in need of storage in the event of a mass fatality situation.

“What we decided to do was go for a refrigerated trailer along with a walk-in cooler. But we did obtain the refrigerated trailer first in April of this year," Emergency Management Director Philip Rentmeester said. "The refrigerated trailer fit the stop-gap for us until the cooler was completed and now it’s operational,” he added.

Right now the trailer has not been used. But it will be on standby in case it is needed.

“If we do have a need for an additional storage place for decedents it’s available to us. We could take it out to a scene if needed. At this point we have not needed it, it’s strictly a back-up,” Rentmeester explained.

Marathon County has already surpassed the total deaths in the area from 2019. While Emergency Management says they are concerned about the numbers, they are still managing.

“If we take a look at the fatality rate of this virus, along with the activity rate that is out there. It is something to be concerned about, however, we are being cautious and we are able to complete our needs,” Rentmeester said.

Emergency Management says if the trailer is ever used it cannot be reused for another purpose and must be destroyed.

Since there is no morgue near Marathon County currently, Rentmeester says there is a task force that is planning on bringing one to the area.

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