Those in New York who died of coronavirus but have not been claimed by family members may be buried on Hart Island, east of the Bronx, officials told CNN.
NYC Mayor Press Secretary Freddi Goldstein said: “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.”
“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.’ These are people who we have made zero contact with the family.”
Goldstein said that relatives have 14 days to make contact with the morgue officials before the body is moved to Hart Island.
However, unlike in normal times, Riker’s Island prison inmates will not be handling the burials, due to social distancing rules, the Department of Corrections Press Secretary said.
Instead, the burials are being performed by private contractors, and are working five days a week, instead of the one day a week the prisoners worked, the New York Post noted.
Header: Men walking wearing protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic on April 08, 2020, in New York.Men walking wearing protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic on April 08, 2020, in New York. Cindy Ord/Getty Images