York council draws up plans for a temporary mortuary in the city

City of York Council HQ. Photograph: YorkMix

A temporary mortuary could be built to cope with the rising death toll from coronavirus.

Across the UK, suitable sites are being identified as temporary morgues, following government guidance.

No site has yet been announced for York, but City of York Council says it is working with the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum to make sure a mortuary is built and ready, should it be needed.

Pauline Stuchfield, assistant director of customer services at the council, said:

  • City of York Council are working in partnership with North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF) to ensure that, across the region, temporary care centres for the deceased are built and ready for any increase in demand on related services, should they be needed.

    Our Emergency Planning teams are working to ensure that we are equipped for any reasonable worst case scenarios.

    The NYLRF partnership is in contact with funeral directors and residents near potential sites to ensure they are informed and reassured as preparations are safely put in place.

She added: “However, every one of us has the power to help our city slow the spread of coronavirus.

“Closely following the latest Government guidance for social distancing, staying home and washing your hands regularly, are vital for our collective effort to protect the city.”

In Leeds, plans to set up a temporary mortuary at a unit in an industrial park were announced by Leeds City Council on April 7 – while in Bradford there are plans to turn a sports centre and pool into a temporary morgue.

In Warrington the council has revealed plans to set up a temporary mortuary in a country house and garden attraction.